The DES laboratory is a National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) accredited laboratory. Twice each year the lab participates in a series of performance evaluations to test its capability to accurately determine many analytical parameters. Based on the accuracy of these performance tests, along with on-site audits of the laboratory processes, the DES laboratory has maintained full accreditation for drinking water and wastewater parameters. Please see the full list of all parameters for which the DES laboratory is currently accredited.
What We Do
The DES laboratory is a full service laboratory offering testing for microbiology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and radiochemistry. The microbiology section checks for bacterial organisms that can be found primarily in water. Total Coliform and E. Coli are the primary bacterial indicators. The organic chemistry section conducts analyses on chemicals containing the element carbon. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - including the gasoline constituent methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE), - other petroleum products, industrial solvents, pesticides and herbicides are common tests. The inorganic chemistry section analyzes for the non-carbon elements and associated compounds found in our environment. These tests include metals such as Arsenic and Lead, nutrient compounds containing Nitrogen and Phosphorus, and physical measurements such as pH and specific conductance. The radiochemistry section conducts analyses of those inorganic elements, primarily Uranium and Radon that are radioactive.
Homeowner Water Testing
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Services encourage all New Hampshire homeowners who have their own well to test their water periodically. Our jointly published guide is available on line. Testing for all the recommended parameters is available at the DES laboratory on a fee for service basis. Upon completion of each analysis homeowners receive a full report along with an interpretation of test results. In addition, staff is available to provide an unbiased assessment of the water quality and to provide further information on available references and treatment options. Other environmentally specific situations and related laboratory services should be discussed with the laboratory directly.