Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
WETLAB visits Lyon County Utilities
One of the ways WETLAB strives to better serve our clients is to understand what they do at every level.  We believe that by knowing what our clients do, we can help them reach their goals.  Hollie Timmons, Client Services Manager, and Michelle Sherven, WETLAB President visited long-time client Lyon County Utilities to better understand what they do, and what role WETLAB can play in their success.  To learn more about Lyon County Utilities, watch their client testimonial here.  Below, Hollie tells us about the visit.

On Cinco De Mayo, Michelle and I went to Lyon County Utilities to tour the wastewater treatment plant and one of their drinking water well houses. It was very interesting to see the whole process from start to finish! We started at the entry point where all the wastewater enters the plant and got to see the headworks building, where augers keep the pipes from getting clogged with hair and paper (among other things). This was the most disgusting part seeing all the hair wound up in a mass, which we were told gets all “roped-up” every so often and jams the augers, so someone has to get in there and remove all the sewage-soaked hair, which made me really appreciate my desk job! This building also had the strongest odor, which was a humid combination of raw sewage and a burning, overwhelming ammonia scent that was enough to make your eyes water! After that, we got to see the grit separator and their huge jet-engine aerators that pump air to all the tanks, where a combination of certain bacteria/microbes are added to the mixture. These bacteria do their job to break down the organic matter, and the solids settle to the bottom of the tanks to further decompose. Once this process is complete, the water is decanted/skimmed from the top and passes through a winding series of channels where the water is chlorinated for disinfection. This treated water then goes into a covered pond (to control algae growth) where it slowly seeps into the ground and is eventually returned to the ground water, completing the full circle of sewage life. The sludge (essentially the dead bacteria/microbes, killed off by the chlorination) is transferred to a drying bed, which some treatment plants then sell to farms for use as fertilizer. This treatment plant requires so much power to run, that they have the largest 12-cylinder generator I have ever seen, to ensure the plant operations do not come to a halt in the event of a power outage. After the tour was finished, we had lunch and then drove to one of their drinking water wells that takes in surface water from a nearby river/stream. The water is pumped through the well house, chlorinated, and piped to the nearby homes. While we were in the pump house, we experienced a sudden torrential hail-storm, which stranded us inside. We watched the marble-sized hail shred the leaves off nearby trees and pelt the building with a thunderous roar, falling like frozen bullets from the sky. It made for the perfect ending to a very fun day!!
Michelle and Hollie with our great clients from Lyon County Utilities

Michelle and Hollie with our great clients from Lyon County Utilities


Hollie is always striving to serve our clients better

Hollie is always striving to serve our clients better

Broadbent – a full-service environmental, civil engineering, and water resources consulting firm – is experiencing fantastic growth in their air quality, cultural resource management, and water/wastewater service areas thanks in part to the support and resources of their testing partner WETLAB.

According to Randy Miller, Principal Engineer at Broadbent, “WETLAB provides competent and cost effective testing services. Their staff is knowledgeable and customer oriented. They understand our needs and the needs of our clients.”

Broadbent and Associates post-fire sceening

Broadbent and Associates post-fire screening

Recently, the company successfully collaborated with a range of stakeholders on Superfund projects in Arizona, California, and Broadbent’s home state of Nevada. One effort was EPA’s Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) contract. This took place during Gold King Mine spill response efforts in Arizona and the 4-Corners Region with Broadbent assisting the US EPA and the Navajo Nation EPA to assess the extent and effects of the spill’s plume on the San Juan River.

A similar emergency response event Broadbent supported was EPA’s recent disaster relief effort in Middletown, California. This work was in reaction to the Valley Fire that consumed much of the town and surrounding Lake County communities. The work required expedient response, complex project planning, and thorough risk assessment by staff from multiple Broadbent offices.

Broadbent is proud to address customer needs in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner by leveraging their strong business partnerships, like the one they have with WETLAB. Whether undertakings are part of upfront planning, operations, or are emergency based, Broadbent professionals are ready to bring their expertise to the field.


Broadbent & Associates, Inc. is a Nevada-based, full-service environmental, civil engineering, and water resources consulting firm founded in 1987. The company is tested and trusted by their client base and regulatory agencies and has forged strong relationships with agency personnel, industry leaders, and innovative partners throughout the Western US. Broadbent’s professionals know what is required to complete projects and approach work in a safe, thoughtful, and informed manner.

Broadbent specializes in a range of professional environmental services, including: Air Quality Permitting and Stack Testing, Cultural Resource Management, Environmental Sampling, Assessment, and Remediation, Emergency Response, Water and Wastewater Facility Operations, Civil Design and Construction Quality Assurance, Water Resources, and Health and Safety Services.

At WETLAB we’re not just outdoor enthusiasts. It’s our way of life. Camping, hiking, fishing, and anything else that allows us to soak up the rays and enjoy fresh air.

In fact, we love it so much that we’re going to give away a fancy new iPad to a random winner who likes our page and submits a photo of them doing anything they enjoy outside in the Sierra’s. Simply like the page, submit your photo, name, and email, and you’re entered.

Take advantage of our areas picturesque backyard and you just might find yourself at the top of the mountain and the tech world, courtesy of WETLAB!

Modern communication is a complex array of tweets, status updates, pixels and blogs. And more than ever the choices of consumers are influenced by the data streaming through the online universe on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In this fast-paced communication landscape, it is easy to be left behind, to lose your connection to consumers, clients and industry peers, and to allow the online conversation to pass you by. We here at WETLAB are not only not being left behind, we are leading the charge into a future of effective digital interaction with our water quality monitoring market.

“Social media and online communication tools are not a flash-in-the-pan trend. They are here to stay, and they are the present and future of how businesses and clients communicate,” said Michelle Sherven, President of WETLAB. “By engaging our market through numerous online media, we are positioning ourselves ahead of the curve in our industry, and ahead of the game in effective and immediate interaction with our consumers.”

WETLAB currently engages consumers and potential clients through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, an e-mail newsletter campaign using Constant Contact, and a blog. Through our Twitter feed, WETLAB recently doled out up-to-the-minute updates from the 2010 Geothermal Energy Expo in Sacramento in mid October. Through the immediate communication of Twitter, we were able to connect with potential clients at the industry event.

Our YouTube channel displays videos from one of the company’s most recent projects — water quality monitoring for the City of Sparks, Nev. — giving those too busy to read or too bored with a long block of text, an engaging way to experience our water quality monitoring work.

Facebook supplies information to consumers in a more active way than a traditional website, allowing social networking browsers to see the latest news on our company without taking the time to visit our home website.

Through each social media avenue, WETLAB is not just engaging in self-promotion, but informing a targeted group of individuals about a topic they care about.

“The key to social media is to not just talk about yourself, but engage in conversation on interesting subjects and trends in the industry,” said Sherven.

By taking the business savvy that made us a premier water quality monitoring laboratory and applying it to online communications networks, WETLAB has embraced innovative ways to communicate with our customer base. And each connection we make through our targeted digital networks is reaffirmation that online communication translates into good business.