The Rogers Water Utilities Laboratory collects and analyzes samples for chemical and microbiological pollutants. The primary responsibility of the Laboratory is to document compliance of the Rogers Pollution Control Facility with regulated discharge limits, but the Lab is also involved in ongoing monitoring of the wastewater treatment process to optimize performance, periodically assessing industrial, commercial, and domestic wastewaters and pollution levels in the watershed.
The Laboratory employs two full-time analysts and utilizes specialized laboratory instruments and techniques in order to produce accurate and reproducible results from the widely varying matrices and concentration levels. The Laboratory regularly analyzes samples for the following pollutants:
- Nitrate and Nitrite
- Total Nitrogen
- Total Phosphorus
- Total and Volatile Solids
- Total Suspended and Volatile Solids
- Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand (CBOD)
- Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
- Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
- Fecal Coliform (Bacteria)
Laboratory equipment includes the following:
- pH electrode and meter
- Ammonia electrode and meter
- CBOD Dissolved Oxygen probe and meter
- Flow Injection Analyzer
The Laboratory actively seeks and develops innovative and environmentally-friendly analytical methods which improve accuracy, decrease cost and time required, and which reduce the amount and toxicity of chemicals generated. Currently, the Laboratory is utilizing such techniques to analyze for Total Nitrogen and Phosphorus, Nitrate, and Ammonia.
The green Ammonia method uses an electrode and produces very little chemical waste. Other popular ammonia methods produce chemicals such as mercury, phenol, and cyanide.
The Laboratory employs a green persulfate method which digests both Total Nitrogen and Phosphorus simultaneously and then analyzes both simultaneously using a Flow Injection Analyzer. The method saves a great deal of time and does not require either mercury or copper as did the traditional technique.
Finally, the Laboratory analyzes nitrate using a reagent-free ultraviolet absorbance method which is much faster and less expensive than a popular method which generates significant quantities of toxic cadmium chemical. The Laboratory is the only wastewater lab in the state using this nitrate method.