Peters Township Sanitary Authority
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PTSA Laboratory and Proficiency Testing

The Sanitary Authority maintains a fully equipped laboratory at it Brush Run treatment plant for the purpose of analyzing not only samples for process control, but for analyzing parameters that must be reported to both the PA DEP and US EPA. Reporting of these results is what is referred to as self monitoring, in which we must report the result monthly on a Discharge Monitoring Report and explain any violations to our NPDES permit that may have occurred.

In January 2008 the laboratory became “accredited” by the PA DEP Bureau of Laboratories. The accreditation process involved creating Standard Analytical Operating procedures for each and every analytical method, creating a Laboratory Quality Manual, participating in an on-site evaluation by the Bureau of Laboratories as well as participating in annual proficiency testing. The proficiency testing is done by purchasing samples from an approved provider and then the laboratory technician must analyze certain analytes of an unknown concentration and report the results to the regulatory agency. Upon completion, the Authority is given a “report card” of how well they have done in analyzing the samples. Anyone receiving an unacceptable result must determine the cause and develop a plan to ensure that the cause has been eliminated.

Continued accreditation requires an annual application process, tri-annual on-site evaluations and review of the Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Manual to ascertain that they are being kept current and reflect any changes that may have occurred in methodology.  

Recent changes to the Water and Wastewater System Operators’ Certification program will now require anyone responsible for the supervision of environmental testing and reporting, i.e. Laboratory Supervisor, to obtain a sub classification for their license. The examination is currently being developed, and once offered, the individual will have one year to have the Laboratory Supervisor sub classification added to his/her Operator’s License.