Time to Unwrap the Package

You look at the neatly-wrapped gifts under the tree and wonder; you are trying to guess what’s in the package.  What is the shape? What is the size? What is the weight? Does it make a noise when I gently shake it?  You are trying to determine what might be in the package before you actually get the opportunity to open it.

As you ponder your seasonal unwrapping, how many times do laboratory clients also wonder – What is in my package? 

Large data packages that often consume reams of paper can often be overwhelming.  But do you know what is included in your various data packages? Do you have an understanding of the levels requested and what QA/QC you will receive?

Don’t put yourself through the guessing game any longer!

Below is a quick guide to get a conversation started with Suburban Testing Labs to support your project work and data needs.

 Level 1 – Results Only Report

This is a package that is the bare-minimum report from a NELAP Laboratory. Many smaller industries or WW plants or small NPDES clients prefer less paper, so this is the perfect option for them. Quick summary of the results and minimal paper. Less to handle, less to file.

A typical Level I Report includes:

  • Results Summary
  • Copy of the Chain of Custody
  • Surrogate Recovery data

Level II – Data + QC Report

This report has a bit more information included, which allows for in-house review and quality check by the end-user of the data to ensure the results that are given appear to be QC-compliant. Small projects or PA Act2 work that require only a cursory oversite of quality procedures are typical requestors of this level of report. Consultants who have a comfort level established with the laboratory they utilize may opt for this package to cut down on data preparation and review.

A typical Level II Report* includes:

  • All of the information included in Level I; plus
  • Conformance and QC Summary Report (Case Narrative)
  • Blank Summary
  • Laboratory Control
  • Sample Summary
  • Matrix Spike Summary
  • Duplicate Summary


Level III – Reduced Deliverable Data Package

In this deliverable, the leap is made from nomenclature of calling the data a report, and referring to it as a Data Package or Report Deliverable. There is significantly more raw data included in these reports which chronicle the steps taken within the laboratory and present the data collected along the way. Depending on the number of samples included in a submittal, the final product can be a large data package using a ream or more of paper.

A typical Level III Data Package* includes:

  • All of the information included in Level I & Level II; plus
  • Conformance and QC Summary Report (Case Narrative)
  • Initial Calibration
  • Calibration Verification
  • Interference Check/Tune Report
  • Internal Standard Response Summary
  • Chromatograms/Raw Data
  • Preparation Log
  • Run Log
  • Calibration Curve – Summary

Level III – NJ SRP DKQP Package

In October 2014, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Soil Remediation Protocol made effective the new technical guidance for data packages known as DKQP – Data of Known Quality Protocol. This package guidance added several new components to the data package requirements and is now the format in which all data reported for NJ work should be following. And – you guessed it! It now makes generating the data package an even LARGER undertaking, creating more raw data and QA/QC criteria which increase the final amount of paper included in this NJ DKQP Package.

A typical Level III NJ DKQP Data Package* includes:

  • All of the information included in Level I, Level II & Level III; plus
  • Specific QC per DKQP Requirements

Level IV – CLP-Like Data Deliverable

Unless you are working with a CLP (Contract Lab Procedure) Laboratory, the highest level of data package typically offered is the CLP-like Data Deliverable. This is appropriate for third-party data validation, and the set-up and QC included are based on the requirements found in CLP-Protocol. This report often involves several reams of paper to prepare, and can take up to 6 or more weeks for the laboratory to compile, perform their in-house review, and then submit to the client.

A typical Level IV Data Package* includes:

  • All of the information included in Level I, Level II & Level III; plus
  • Calibration Curve – Individual and Standard Raw Data

Don’t put yourself through the guessing game any longer — with this guide posted here, you won’t have to wonder any longer about your data packages. Talk directly to us at Suburban Testing Labs so that you KNOW what is inside before you get the final product!

*Disclaimer: It is important to note that the items included in the packages can be very laboratory-specific for the Level I, Level II and Level III packages. The only consistency is that when the package level increases, the amount of documentation also increases. Please confirm the actual QC included in your package request directly with the laboratory supporting your analytical work.

About the Author…Beth is an Environmental Professional, Technical Resource and Customer Service Advocate serving as Business Development Manager for Suburban Testing Labs since 2013.  She has over 25 years of industry experience, and enjoys engaging in technical discussions, presenting topics of relevance, and networking.  Visit her LinkedIn Profile to connect, or email her at