The Department of Laboratory Services at MWRA consists of 58 employees working at five laboratory locations: drinking water laboratories in Chelsea, Southborough, and at the Quabbin Reservoir; a wastewater laboratory at the Clinton Treatment Plant, and the full-service Central Laboratory at Deer Island.
We support regular monitoring and special projects throughout the MWRA. The department's goals are to:
Laboratory Services supports the laboratory sampling, testing, and consulting needs of various client groups primarily in the Operations Division. This includes drinking water transmission and treatment, wastewater collection and treatment, wastewater residuals management, industrial-pretreatment monitoring, and environmental quality.
We maintain a Mobile Laboratory, outfitted with laboratory instrumentation and operated by trained chemists, to respond to drinking water emergencies.
We conduct harbor sampling and laboratory testing for the Boston Harbor monitoring program, which involves regular sampling for nutrients, bacteria, and water quality parameters throughout Boston Harbor.
We monitor drinking water treatment effectiveness, providing a variety of laboratory services in support of drinking water treatment and special studies.
We test reservoir and community water systems for regulatory compliance with bacterial levels, chemical parameters such as chlorine residuals, and algae. Results are tracked and compliance reports are sent to the EPA and DEP.
We test Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoir and tributary samples for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Our vision is to be recognized both within the MWRA and throughout the professional and public community as a successful, productive, and talented scientific establishment capable of providing high quality, legally defensible, and timely environmental laboratory data and related services. Our ultimate strength will be derived from the successes of individuals shared within a unified organization.
Lab Services pledges to manage its business according to the following principles:
Laboratory Services is a full service analytical testing and consulting group within the MWRA. We primarily serve client groups primarily within the Operations Division. The analytical services that Laboratory Services provides include wet chemistry, metals, organics, and microbiology testing. Related services include field sampling, technical consultation, and contract laboratory management.
Laboratory Services is certified by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for drinking water and waste water testing:
Laboratory Services is also certified for testing fertilizer pellets for fecal coliform:
In fiscal year 2018, Laboratory Services had the following performance highlights:
Laboratory Services is organized into teams (seven operations teams, three support teams and one management team) and operates out of five locations. The operations teams are flexible, interdisciplinary groups of certified staff who perform testing procedures from start to finish, including: scheduling, sample preparation, sample analysis, data review, data entry; and data validation. The support teams consist of client services, quality assurance, and administrative services. The client services team interacts closely with the laboratorys clients ensuring that appropriate and timely testing is provided. The quality assurance team provides oversight and functions independently from the analyses operations teams. The QA team recommends policy guidelines and ensures that the quality standards meet both the required applicable regulations. The administrative systems team provides administrative support to management and teams in such areas as maintaining personnel files, purchasing of supplies and equipment, hiring, and records management. The management team is responsible for policy development and approval, project review and oversight, and resource allocation.
Contact the Department of Laboratory Services
PDF files on this page require Adobe Acrobat Reader ® (free download).
May 3, 2023