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OWML: qa/qc

Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual: Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory (OWML) provides water-quality data on microorganisms of public health significance for a variety of projects within the USGS. Currently, the OWML analyzes samples for and provides training on bacterial indicators, coliphage, Actinomycetes, enteric viruses, cyanobacteria, and microbial source-tracking markers.

Quality-assurance and quality-control (QA/QC) practices for the operation of the OWML are described in this manual. The Laboratory Manager, Laboratory Coordinator, Chemical Hygiene Officer, and laboratory and field staff are responsible for implementing QA/QC procedures. This includes correctly following methods of analysis, media and reagent preparation and storage, and analytical quality-control procedures. A sample management and documentation system involves the use of service request forms and login ID’s for each sample. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) has been implemented to store sample login information and results. Laboratory equipment maintenance and calibration records are also stored in the LIMS.