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Quality Assurance/Quality Control Manual: Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory



An overview of analytical methods, training policies, safety, laboratory maintenance, sample management, and data documentation is given in this section.

Analytical Methods
analytical methodsThe methods used by the Ohio Water Microbiology Laboratory (OWML) can be categorized into three groups: compliance, official, and research. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and others in the research community are continuously developing new methods for detecting and quantifying microbiological pathogens and indicators in water; therefore, several types of methods for target organisms may be currently in use at the OWML.

Compliance methods are those published by USEPA in the Federal Register and are used to determine compliance with standards for protection of public health in swimmable or drinkable waters. Analytical methods for fecal-indicator bacteria are often in this group because they are straightforward, quantitative, and routinely used.

Official methods are those noncompliance methods published by water-analysis authorities such as American Public Health Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or the USGS. Official methods should be well established, have known levels of bias and variability, and be relatively easy to apply in field operations or have holding times long enough to allow shipping to a central laboratory for analysis.

Research methods are published and unpublished methods. Published research methods have been tested and QA/QC programs have been established. Unpublished research methods are currently being testing to establish QA/QC practices and determine applicability to ambient monitoring programs.