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Discharge Monitoring

TestAmerica Supports Regulatory Compliance for Discharge Waters

Under the The Clean Water Act (CWA), EPA implemented wastewater standards for industry and water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.  EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulates point sources that discharge pollutants to bodies of water.  Permits are issued for industrial wastewater, municipal wastewater and storm water.  A state may receive authorization for one or more of the NPDES program components, and if EPA approves the state program, the state assumes permitting authority.  

Effluent limitations are the primary mechanism in NPDES permits for controlling discharges to receiving waters. Discharge limits are based on both the technology available to control the pollutants and limits that are protective of the water quality standards of the receiving water.

Mine sites often channel run off water and stormwater into point source discharges, and will obtain NPDES permits to ensure compliance with water quality standards that do not exceed the effluent limitation guidelines established for the industry.

TestAmerica's Compliance Monitoring Program

TestAmerica’s approach to discharge monitoring includes services such as sampling support, courier services, laboratory analyses and customized data delivery options.   Experienced project management professionals work with you to implement testing methods that meet the requirements of your specific discharge permit.  Test methods typically include routine EPA parameters such as metals, TSS, turbidity, hardness, pH, cyanide, BOD, oil and grease and others.

Things to Discuss with TestAmerica

  • What type and size of bottle is needed for each test?
  • How full do I fill the bottle?
  • What is the best way to preserve samples?
  • What kind of labels will be supplied?
  • What are the maximum holding times for each water quality parameter to be sampled?
  • Will the lab provide pH paper? Samples need to be tested for pH within 15 minutes of collection to be valid, typically in the field.
  • Is the quantitation limit for each parameter less than the effluent limitation concentration?

Sampling Support

TestAmerica provides coolers, packing material, certified pre-cleaned bottles with applicable preservatives, and pre-printed chains of custody.  Our bottle kits reduce the potential for error in the field by providing the correct containers with the applicable preservatives and paperwork based upon the analyses outlined in the permit.  Many TestAmerica laboratories also provide field sampling services.

Laboratory Analysis

Samples received at the laboratory are logged into our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) based on the information provided on the Chain of Custody.  Sample receipt confirmation forms detailing sample collection information and requested analyses are sent to client contacts after receipt to reduce error potential, and ensure proactive communication with clients.

Reports and Data Delivery

TestAmerica’s network of laboratories is linked by a single LIMS, allowing TestAmerica to provide clients with one easy to read report and electronic data deliverable (EDD), regardless of where samples are analyzed in our network of laboratories.  Clients have the option to receive their data in one of more than 2,500 formats, as well as via our online data portal, TotalAccess®

To learn more about TestAmerica’s data delivery options, visit our Data Solutions webpage.