Summer Solstice Giveaway

Summer is officially arriving this Friday, and that means sun, sand, and a lot of environmental projects. We decided to giveaway a Suburban Gift Basket to kick-off summer! Enter to win the basket below, which includes:

  • $25 MasterCard Gift Card
  • Two Suburban Beer Mugs
  • Kate Spade Kitchen Towel
  • Large Beverage Tub
  • Porch Lantern
  • Badminton Set
  • Ceramic Ice Cream Bowl
  • Pineapple Silicone Ice Molds
  • Snacks
  • Sidewalk Chalk, Glow Sticks, and Bubbles for the Kids

Summer Solstice Basket Giveaway Entry Form

Deadline to enter is Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST.

Laboratory Analysis Interference – Part 3

Lab Analysis Interference - Matrix Interference

In this final installment of our three-part series, we will describe some common interferences our laboratory analysts encounter that may explain why some of your data has, for example, higher reporting limits or qualifiers.

Laboratory Analysis Interference, also referred to as matrix interference, occurs when non-target analytes or physical/chemical characteristics of a sample prevent quantification of the analytes of interest.  This can cause increased uncertainty in the result reported to the client.  Sometimes, additional preparation and/or analysis is unavoidable to mitigate the effects of the interference and obtain usable data.  Ultimately, analysis interference can have a dramatic impact on your data and may be difficult to clarify, resolve and understand.

Part 3.  Chromatographic Overlap

How it Happens

A normal chromatogram will have clearly defined peaks and valleys indicating the concentration of a particular analyte in a sample.  However, sometimes we will see unusually shaped peaks or overlapping peaks which indicate matrix interference.  This may mean one or more analytes are present at very high levels.

How to Overcome and Data Impact

To overcome this challenge and get more reliable data, we can attempt to run the sample via a different method (if available) or dilute the sample.  Sometimes multiple analyses at multiple dilutions may be required.  This can extend turnaround times and may result in additional analytical costs.  As with the case of VOCs and foaming, dilutions will result in elevated reporting limits.  For example, a normal Nitrate reporting limit may be 0.2 mg/L, but with a 25-time dilution, the reporting limit would be 5.0 mg/L.

Avoid costly resampling due to lack of lab communication or partnership oversights.  Choose our team of highly dedicated professionals for your next project. Contact our team for more information.

2019 Top 50 Business Recognition

Our Team is celebrating today.  #22 on the list of Greater Reading Top 50 Businesses according to the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, published today in the Reading Eagle Business Weekly.   We have been appearing on this list every year since we were eligible, and once again are featured in the top half.

Awards will be given to these top businesses on May 23, 2019 at the Annual Chamber Dinner. The dinner will allow guests to pend an evening with Hollywood icon Henry Winkler. His warm personality and humor will charm you as he shares anecdotes about his storied career in television and entertainment, inspirational life lessons, as well as his personal story about overcoming adversity.

“This Suburban Family is a group of talented professionals passionately pursuing excellence while protecting public health, and the environment.” Said Sara Stump, Director at Suburban Testing Labs.  “I credit our team’s adherence to our four core values as the root of our success: quality, integrity, innovation and commitment.  To be successful here you have to work in harmony with our values.”

Suburban Testing Labs is a nationally recognized independent environmental testing laboratory specializing in analysis of water, wastewater, soil, and solid materials.  We are accredited in accordance with NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) and commit to providing defensible data at a competitive price with first-class customer service.

Suburban Testing Laboratories has 56 years of experience in environmental testing for microbiological, inorganic and organic contaminants.     We continuously rank on the list of Greater Reading’s Top 50 Businesses.

Laboratory Analysis Interference – Part 2

Lab Analysis Interference - Matrix Interference

In this three-part series, we will describe some common interferences our laboratory analysts encounter that may explain why some of your data has, for example, higher reporting limits or qualifiers.

Laboratory Analysis Interference, also referred to as matrix interference, occurs when non-target analytes or physical/chemical characteristics of a sample prevent quantification of the analytes of interest.  This can cause increased uncertainty in the result reported to the client.  Sometimes, additional preparation and/or analysis is unavoidable to mitigate the effects of the interference and obtain usable data.  Ultimately, analysis interference can have a dramatic impact on your data and may be difficult to clarify, resolve and understand.

Part 2. High Concentration Metals

How it Happens

Samples for metals are typically analyzed using an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) or ICP-MS instrument, where multiple metals are being analyzed at the same time.  This is achieved by ionizing the sample with inductively coupled plasma, and then using a mass spectrometer or atomic emission spectroscopy to separate and quantify those ions.  When there is a high concentration of one or more analytes, the analysis process in the instrument can be drastically disrupted, and even cause damage to the instrument itself.

How to Overcome and Data Impact

The only good way to overcome this is using dilutions.  You can choose to analyze the sample using multiple dilutions, but the risk is that you may have to reimburse for the repair of any instrument damage it may cause.  You can choose to only analyze at a dilution, but then your reporting limits will be elevated, and you may miss detections at levels lower than the elevated reporting limit.  This can be a challenging decision. 

For example, let’s say your analyzing for Zinc, Lead and Arsenic.  An initial run yields an extremely high zinc concentration, a detection of 0.004 mg/L for Lead, and a <0.002 mg/L result for Arsenic.  To get a valid Zinc result the analyst may do a 1000-time dilution, which gets you a Zinc result of 85.3mg/L, but now Lead and Arsenic show as non-detects at <2.00 mg/L.  This can have a big impact on your project.  

Avoid costly resampling due to lack of lab communication or partnership oversights.  Choose our team of highly dedicated professionals for your next project. Contact our team for more information.

Laboratory Analysis Interference – Part 1

Lab Analysis Interference - Matrix Interference

In this three-part series, we will describe some common interferences our laboratory analysts encounter that may explain why some of your data has, for example, higher reporting limits or qualifiers.

Laboratory Analysis Interference, also referred to as matrix interference, occurs when non-target analytes or physical/chemical characteristics of a sample prevent quantification of the analytes of interest.  This can cause increased uncertainty in the result reported to the client.  Sometimes, additional preparation and/or analysis is unavoidable to mitigate the effects of the interference and obtain usable data.  Ultimately, analysis interference can have a dramatic impact on your data and may be difficult to clarify, resolve and understand.

Part 1: VOCs and Foaming

How it Happens

The sample’s introduction to the analytical system involves purging the analytes of interest from the liquid by bubbling a gas through the sample.  If the sample contains compounds that act as foaming reagents or surfactants (ie: soap), this process can produce foam.  Large amounts of foam can overflow past the purging vessel and cause damage to the instrumentation.  This damage requires maintenance and recalibration and will result in an inability to obtain valid results.

How to Overcome and Data Impact

The only way to really overcome this scenario is to dilute the sample.  However, this will elevate reporting limits for all analytes.  For example, a normal reporting limit may be 0.0005 mg/L, but with a 100-time dilution, the reporting limit would be 0.0500 mg/L.  Multiple analyses may also result in unforeseen extensions of turnaround times and additional analytical costs. 

Avoid costly resampling due to lack of lab communication or partnership oversights.  Choose our team of highly dedicated professionals for your next project. Contact our team for more information.

Drowning in Lab Problems? Let Us Keep You Afloat.

Missed turnaround times? Unanswered questions or data inquiries?

If any of this sounds familiar, you may be drowning in lab problems. Suburban Testing Labs can help.

Our project turnaround time is currently running at 98.6%. This means we give you deadlines you can trust, and you get your report when you’re supposed to, often earlier than expected.

In addition to fast turnaround times, environmental testing requires a strong commitment to servicing the client.  Our sizable, and local, Client Services Team is dedicated to making your project a success by reliably responding to the needs of our clients.

More About our Client Services Team

Our Client Services Department is comprised of a highly trained team of dedicated professionals.  Your expert Project Manager is assigned to you based on matching experience, and they serve as your main point of contact for any and all account needs.  From ordering sample containers, to technical questions, they are there to get the answers you need.

When it comes to reporting, Suburban Testing Labs has you covered.   We recognize that you can’t wait for results!  We have fast turnaround times, and you’ll have easy access to live data and final reports using our secure Online Report Access system. Routinely, you have three ways of receiving results reports: automatic email, online report access, and a hard copy.  And yes – you can have multiple users receive emails and have online access.

When you require specific electronic reporting/EDD’s, we are here to customize your data deliverables according to your needs.  Plus, we can automate your custom reports directly from our LIMS.

Avoid costly resampling due to lack of lab communication or partnership oversights.  Choose our team of highly dedicated professionals for your next project.

Earth Day 2019

Happy Earth Day!  For us, Earth Day is every day.  It’s what we do.  

Last year we performed over 360,000 analyses and received more than 130,000 samples.  This testing is done to ensure our natural waterways are free of harmful pollution, our soils are free of contamination, and our drinking water is safe for millions of Americans to consume. 

Our core mission is to provide accurate, sound and defensible data needed to support environmental decision making. Our relentless dedication to customers, our team, & ourselves builds relationships that preserve the health of our environment.

On this day, and every day, we are reminded to care for the planet and do our part to protect the future of generations to come. 

What can you do to have an impact?

It doesn’t take a huge effort to have an important impact.  Here are some easy ideas we’ve rounded up for you to consider adopting today.

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/04/22/1807238/0/en/Recycling-Works-on-Earth-Day-and-Every-Day.html

https://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/10-green-ideas-for-earth-day

New Online Access Feature

ClientConnect Tutorial from Promium Screen ShotA new Search feature has been added to our online report access portal, SuburbanClientConnect.  To help our clients learn about this very valuable function, we are sharing a new Online Video Tutorial, produced by Promium, the vendor that developed the software.

Get the basics of how to navigate SuburbanClientConnect in this short video.  Learn how you can view your orders, analysis status, results, and even use the new “search” feature.

TIP: If you’re only interested in the new Search feature, fast forward to 3:19.

CLICK HERE to view this new video in Suburban Academy.

We’re Ready For You

New regulations are upon us.  This second quarter brings the start of SOC monitoring, the new Disinfection Requirement Rule, and Lead and Copper – plus routine monitoring.

Suburban Testing Labs tests drinking water for more than 2 million Americans in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  Since 1963, we have been providing defensible data you can trust.

Whether you’re a large public water supplier, a small public water supplier, a contract operations firm, or environmental laboratory – we can help you.

We’re ready to lead you into the future with data you can trust.  Contact us today.

Enter to Win our Spring Gift Basket

Will you be our next winner? Basket includes: 2 Suburban Water Bottles, a $25 Lowe’s Gift Card, Water Pitcher, Planter Bucket, Mason Jar, Garden Sign, Tea Towel, and Wooden Farmhouse Basket.  Spring Giveaway 2019

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