The Collier County Water Reclamation Laboratory performs the FDEP permit required analyses and process control analyses for the Wastewater Division. The Laboratory began operating in 1991; in 2000, it was the first laboratory in Collier County to become certified under the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). NELAP is now called The NELAC Institute or TNI. The Florida Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories administers the TNI environmental laboratory certification program for the state of Florida. The Water Reclamation Laboratory's certification number is E55471.
The Water Reclamation Laboratory and its reputation have been built on the professionalism of its employees. Compliance monitoring and regulatory criteria ensure that the applicable analytical data quality objectives and reporting criteria are met. Laboratory staff members are also required to maintain Wastewater Operator License issued by FDEP or possess a degree in biology, chemistry or environmental studies. Staff must complete continuing education courses and annual ethics and data integrity training.
Maintaining a 7-day per week schedule, the Laboratory serves two county water reclamation facilities with a combined capacity of 40.1 million gallons per day. In addition, personnel are on call 24 hours per day to perform fecal coliform analyses for sanitary sewer overflows. Laboratory staff members are also responsible for sample collection at groundwater monitoring wells, deep injection wells, aquifer storage and recovery wells and supplemental irrigation wells. Personnel must be knowledgeable in both FDEP Field Operating Protocol and laboratory protocol.
Currently the laboratory provides analyses under several permits, which include:
1. The North County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Operating Permit
2. The North County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Deep Injection Well Permit
3. The South County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Operating Permit
4. Two South County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Deep Injection Well Permits
5. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery FDEP Operating Permit
6. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery SFWMD Consumptive Use Permit
7. The Supplemental Irrigation Wellfields' SFWMD Consumptive Use Permit
Note: Both FDEP Operating Permits include a Regional Groundwater Monitoring Well Program with wells located in the North and South service areas. This program includes:
• Sample collection and analysis of the monitoring wells,
• Assisting with the FDEP inspections, and
• Preparation of all reports.
Two chemists and two laboratory technicians conduct over 39,000 analyses each year. These analyses are conducted on permit required compliance, process control and quality control samples. Analyses performed in house by the Water Reclamation Laboratory includes:
• Microbiological: Fecal coliform, Heterotrophic Plate Count
• Demands: Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand
• Minerals: Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Specific Conductance
• Nutrients: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate
• Residue: Non-filterable Residue (Total Suspended Solids), Volatile Suspended Solids
• Field Analyses: pH, Conductivity, Turbidity, Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, ORP
To contact the Environmental Compliance Section directly please call (239) 252-6886.