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Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
Celebrating Kara Ansell at the Women of Achievement Awards 2024

On May 23, 2024, at the Downtown Reno Ballroom, our very own Kara Ansell was celebrated at the Women of Achievement Awards. Originally from Winslow, Arizona, Kara holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and an Associate of Science in Information Technology. With nearly six years at WETLAB, Kara has been instrumental in crafting user-centric software and innovative automations. Her blend of quirkiness and creative thinking drives her to devise smart tech solutions for business challenges, with Java as her go-to language. Kara’s recognition at this event, Reno’s largest business luncheon, highlighted her outstanding contributions to our organization and the broader community. Known as a huge (self-proclaimed) fantasy nerd, Kara’s passion and dedication have made a significant impact, inspiring all of us at WETLAB.

In Our WETLAB World

Celebrating WETLAB Anniversaries

We love celebrating around here, especially when we have the opportunity to celebrate our people. Congratulations to Sam, who recently celebrated his 5 year anniversary with WETLAB and to Nick, who reached a major milestone recently, celebrating 20 years with the company. You are both integral parts of our team and are so appreciated. Thank you for your dedication!


Welcome Aurora Lynn Pierce!

Our WETLAB family grew recently! Caitrianna Bishop, client service manager, welcomed a healthy baby girl on February 4th. Congratulations on your new addition!


 

Gigi UNLV Training

We are excited to share that Gigi Herchik, our lab manager in Las Vegas, has begun continuing education courses at UNLV for their Management Certificate program. By the end of the program, she’ll have gained a comprehensive understanding of the tools a supervisor/manager must have to lead a team to its full potential.  Through these courses, Gigi will develop skills in conflict management, communications, people/team management, project management, and managing diversity in the workplace. Gigi’s dedication to further developing her leadership skills will undoubtedly benefit our team and enhance our service to you.


In Our Industry

 

Nevada Water Resources Association Conference

We had a great time at the annual NWRA conference in Las Vegas. We enjoyed keynote speakers, Senator Cleave Simpson, Rio Grande Water Conservation District and Adam Sullivan, P.E., Nevada State Engineer.

 


SME Annual Conference & Expo

McKenna and Nick had a great time in Phoenix last month showing off our new trade show booth at the annual SME Conference. The SME Annual Conference & Expo stands out as the premier platform for showcasing diverse mining research. The extensive Expo offers firsthand insights into cutting-edge mining technologies and advancements, fostering collaborative interactions with top industry vendors for innovative partnerships. We are always thrilled to be there!


2024 NvRWA Annual Training, Technical Conference and Expo

Mckenna completed a wonderful presentation with the State of Nevada regarding proper sample collection techniques at the 2024 NvRWA Annual Training, Technical Conference, and Expo, held in early March at the Nugget Resort Casino in Sparks.  This annual gathering remains an exceptional chance for participants to connect with vendors, enhance their expertise, accrue contact hours, and engage with peers in the Drinking and Wastewater sectors.


 

Save the Date: Elko Mining Expo


In Our Community

Employee Volunteer Spotlight: Washoe County Search and Rescue

Meet Hollie Timmons, project manager in Sparks! She is a dedicated volunteer with Washoe County Search and Rescue. This year she has been fortunate to participate in Backcountry EMS and Avalanche Training. 


 

Save the Date: Girls on the Run Mini Golf

Girls on the Run Sierras is hosting their mini-golf event on Saturday, May 11th from 11 AM- 1PM at Wild Island. This is a day for all GOTR girls, families and supporters to come together and enjoy a few hours of fun in the sun. There is no need to register before the event- families are encouraged to just show up! We are so honored to support this great organization.

 


 

We are thrilled to announce that WETLAB is now the proud sponsor of the Galena High Lacrosse team! 🥍

This sponsorship reflects WETLAB’s commitment to supporting local communities and fostering the spirit of teamwork and excellence in our youth. As the team takes the field, they will not only represent their school but also the dedication and support of WETLAB. Here’s to a season of great games and greater achievements. Go Grizzlies!

 

Join us in an enlightening conversation with Kara Ansell, the developer behind the new proprietary client portal, MyWETLAB. This platform is not merely a tool; it’s a reflection of WETLAB’s commitment to enhancing client experience and improving efficiencies. Learn about the transformative features (current and future) of MyWETLAB and how it’s changing the landscape of our client services.

 

  • Q: What can we expect from the new client portal, MyWETLAB?

    Ansell: As the program developer, I’m excited to share that I’ve designed the platform to be a comprehensive hub for our clients. It will revolutionize the way you interact with our services, streamlining your experience and allowing you to easily track orders, access documents, and eventually have the capabilities to view unofficial real-time individual testing results, meaning you don’t have to wait for the full report to start seeing unofficial results! 

 

  • Q: How will it improve WETLAB’s customer experience?

    Ansell: Our focus is our client’s time and convenience. By centralizing all necessary functions into one intuitive platform, we’re not only enhancing efficiency but also elevating the level of service we provide. Clients will have immediate access to order snapshots, and documents like chain of custodies and analytical reports, with more planned. This means less time spent on routine inquiries and more time for meaningful work. We want to continue to build out the platform and encourage our portal users to submit their feedback on improvements or new features you’d like to see via the built in feedback tool.

 

  • Q: Are there any sneak peeks you can share about the client portal’s future capabilities?

    Ansell:  Absolutely! Get ready for Electronic Data Deliverables (EDDs), invoices, customer alerts when we’ve added updates or documents to your order, unofficial sample results in real-time, and more advanced communication tools. We’re also working on adding order details like PO #, project name, and sampling locations to streamline workflow and access to these details for each order.  Stay tuned for more updates as we roll out new features!

 

  • Q: What steps are being taken to ensure the security and reliability of the portal?

    Ansell: Ensuring security and reliability is a top priority for us. We’ve implemented rigorous testing protocols, including comprehensive beta testing to identify and address any potential vulnerabilities. We’re continuously monitoring and updating the portal to maintain the highest standards of security and performance. Rest assured, we’re committed to delivering a portal that’s not only powerful and user-friendly but also secure and reliable.

 

  • Q: When can we expect to have this available to clients?

    Ansell: We are excited to invite clients to start using the portal. We’ve made excellent progress with thousands of orders processed successfully. Our staff at the Sparks lab is trained in the portal and we’re extending training sessions to our Las Vegas and Elko locations.  We are confident in the portal’s performance and would like to invite our clients to contact their customer service representative at our Sparks location to receive access and begin utilizing our new system.

 

We’re excited to offer the new client portal and look forward to enhancing your experience with WETLAB.

Your success is our success! 


Kara Ansell, System Administrator

Welcome to our client spotlight, where we shine a spotlight on the incredible achievements and partnerships within our community and industry. In this segment, we are thrilled to feature one of our esteemed clients, Vincent Johnson, associate and Elko manager, with Broadbent & Associates

 

Please give us an overview of what Broadbent does.

We are a full-service environmental consulting firm with a track record spanning over 35 years. Our core offerings encompass a wide range of services including environmental assessments and remediation, engineering, and water resources services. At Broadbent, our primary objective is to assist our clients in maintaining regulatory compliance, effectively managing environmental liabilities, and developing resources in an efficient and cost- effective manner. We take pride in building long-term relationships with our clients, many of which are decades long.

 

Broadbent has been providing services in Northern Nevada for over 30 years and recently established an office in Elko in 2020. Where are you continuing to see growth in the industries you serve in Northern Nevada?

Our Elko Office has focused on servicing the mining industry. With its location and local staff, our primary service has been field operation based. Our technical and engineering staff from our other two offices in Nevada, Reno and Las Vegas, have continued to support our mining clients. This allows Broadbent the flexibility and adaptivity that the mining industry requires. Broadbent has been able to respond quickly and efficiently with its strategic Elko location when field support is needed, which translates to lower costs for services passed onto our clients. Broadbent’s Elko staff have years of experience working directly for mines in various positions within environmental, water management, capital projects, and laboratory departments.

 

Can you describe how your relationship with WETLAB enhances your operations to help you better serve clients in your local community?

Broadbent values relationships, which play a critical part in effectively managing environmental projects. Broadbent was founded on 1987 in Nevada and has over 30 years of service supporting the mining industry. During this time, Broadbent has become a trusted partner and developed career long relationships with regulators, clients, suppliers, and other consultants, which includes WETLAB. WETLAB has been an instrumental partner and Broadbent and its clients have utilized WETLAB on many projects and scopes throughout the years.

 

What has your experience working with WETLAB been like?

Broadbent has experienced dedicated and professional services from WETLAB. Their team is motivated and actively involved when we team together on projects.

 

What recent projects have you worked on with WETLAB?

Recent projects working with WETLAB have involved water, wastewater, and petroleum contaminated soil analytical scopes that are awarded directly through mining clients. WETLAB also supports analytical analysis for Seeps, Springs and Creeks projects, as well as Water Pollution Control Permit required monitoring and analytical reporting.

 

How does Broadbent stand out from other environmental consultants serving the greater Northern Nevada area?

We are one of the largest environmental consulting companies in Nevada. We have a deep understanding of the environmental regulations and challenges and how those apply to the industries in our state. We have about 20 environmental managers that are Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) certified. With offices strategically located in Elko, Reno, and Las Vegas, we are able to reach any part of the state within a few hours. We do a fair amount of emergency response work and in those cases, quick response is crucial to our clients.

Many environmental consulting firms of similar size have chosen acquisition by larger entities or venture capitalists. Our leadership values our autonomy and the freedom it offers us to chart our own path to success. I also think there is a lot to be said about the number of employees we have that have been with the company for over 20 years. Our founder, Bob Broadbent’s vision was to build a business where the work culture would be fun, allow for a healthy work/life balance, and where employees would be developed, respected, and challenged. His model also included a mechanism to distribute ownership to key employees over time. Our employee ownership group has continued to grow the company with these values intact and it shows with the high employee retention we’ve been able to sustain.

We’re pleased to announce an important development in WETLAB’s pursuit of quality. Our laboratories in Sparks and Las Vegas are in the process of achieving NELAC Accreditation with completion expected by June. 

The National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) is an esteemed organization endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets forth stringent standards for environmental laboratories to ensure the quality and reliability of environmental data.

To be eligible for NELAC accreditation, laboratories must adhere to a comprehensive set of criteria that demonstrate their competence in environmental testing. These requirements criteria are reviewed annually and include:

  • Sample Management: ensuring the integrity of samples through meticulous documentation and handling from collection to analysis.
  • Data Accuracy: upholding the highest standards of data integrity and reliability in test results.
  • Instrument Precision: conduct regular calibration of testing equipment to guarantee precise measurements.
  • Method Selection: using validated testing methods that are appropriate for the analysis being conducted.
  • Sensitivity Standards: setting thresholds for the detection and quantification of substances within samples. 
  • Performance Validation: demonstrating the laboratory’s consistent ability to perform tests accurately and dependably. 
  • Comprehensive Reporting: providing a complete set of data and documentation to validate test results.
  • Expert Assessment: ensuring that personnel are properly trained to assess laboratory competence.
  • Quality Management: implementing a robust quality management system that includes internal audits and management reviews. 

These standards are designed to ensure that environmental laboratories operate with the highest standards of quality and can produce data that is reliable and fit for the intended purpose.

This anticipated certification will not only permit us to continue services in California but also reinforces our dedication to maintaining the highest standards of quality and service.

 

CLIENT IMPACT:

  • Accreditation in Progress: Our team’s persistent dedication is about to result in meeting NELAC’s rigorous standards, which reflect our alignment with national quality measurements.
  • Guaranteed Quality: The forthcoming accreditation serves as proof of our commitment to data integrity and precision in our operations. 
  • Operational Excellence: The process of accreditation has prompted us to further refine our quality systems and operational practices.
  • Assured Confidence: You can have full confidence in the quality of the data we provide, knowing it comes from an accredited source.
  • Future Outlook: We are excited about the opportunities this accreditation will present for our clients, and we remain devoted to offering superior laboratory testing services.


Andy Smith, Laboratory Director

Western Environmental Testing Laboratory announced Wei Wu has joined their team as chromatography scientist 5.

With more than 25 years of experience, Wu previously worked at Alpah Analytical as a senior VOC analyst, where she performed organic analysis testing using EAP methods for a variety of sample matrices including soil, water, and air.

Wu earned a Bachelor of Science in biochemical engineering from Zhejiang University of Technology in China, as well as a Master of Science in food science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

In her new role, Wu will perform VOC analysis for wastewater, soil, air, and drinking water, as well as sample preparation and extraction, and ensuring proper instrument maintenance.

Wu will work closely with the lab manager to increase production while maintaining accurate data and reporting.

Make WETLAB your local go-to source for all organic testing needs. 

At Western Environmental Testing Laboratory (WETLAB), we feel passionately about our role in the testing and betterment of our local environment and the communities in which we live and play. Our team may be experts in environmental testing, but we also pride ourselves on our local and regional knowledge and have developed an array of products and services specific to the western U.S. to meet the needs of our clients in Nevada, California, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Analysis EPA Method
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) 524.2, 624, and 8260
TCLP VOC 1312/8260
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
for Gas (GRO), Diesel (DRO),
Oil Range Organics (ORO)
8015B and 8015M
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) 524.2
Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) 552.3

We perform testing to comply with the following programs: 

  • CWA
  • NPDES
  • RCRA
  • SDWA

Our personnel have experience with sample matrices that range from typical water and soil matrices to raw sewage and hazardous wastes. 

WETLAB provides comprehensive analytical support on a variety of matrices including: 

  • Wastewater
  •  Sludge
  • Groundwater
  • Surface Water
  • Filters
  • Drinking Water
  • Rocks
  • Soil

For more information, or to schedule a pickup, please call the WETLAB office nearest you.

Sparks (775) 355-0202
Elko (775) 340-3173
Las Vegas (702) 475-8899

Contact WETLAB

Visit us at Western Environmental Testing Laboratory (WETLAB)

In 2023, WETLAB has undergone significant enhancements to its capabilities and capacity, positioning itself to better serve clients with more improvements slated for 2024. The acquisition of multiple new instruments, including two additional ICPMS instruments, has increased analytical capacity, particularly for tests requiring ICPMS analysis. Notably, the company achieved a 50% reduction in time-to-client for high production tests, aided by staff increases, cross training, and new instrument purchases.

WETLAB has also broadened its offerings by introducing a new GC-ECD instrument in the chromatography department for HAA5 analysis, addressing regional needs in disinfection by product testing for drinking water. This move allows for better control of analysis processes and meets client demands more effectively.

Looking ahead, WETLAB anticipates the addition of two ion chromatography (IC) instruments to further enhance capacity and mitigate potential delays. With a successful year of growth in 2023, WETLAB is poised for further improvements and exciting opportunities in 2024.

Andy Smith, Laboratory Director

In 2023, we set out to improve efficiency through the introduction of new approaches to technology. We introduced tools and programs, both internally and externally, to improve efficiency and offer additional conveniences and engagement opportunities to our clients.

Our next big initiative will be the launch of our Client Portal, a tool to improve communication, collaboration, security, and create a more streamlined and personalized experience for our clients. The goal of the portal is to provide you with centralized access to information, real-time collaboration with WETLAB client services staff, enhanced security, and 24/7 accessibility to your data. We are currently in the beta testing phase of the portal. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Caitrianna.

Kara Ansell, Informations Systems Manager

In 2023, WETLAB dedicated its efforts to enhancing the client experience by revamping internal procedures, increasing client visits, and actively seeking and acting upon client feedback. Our client services team successfully achieved this by updating client services documents based on your feedback, and implementing procedural changes to elevate the overall experience.

One notable initiative included the standardization of the client operating procedures across all of our locations. Based on the feedback WETLAB received, our biggest opportunity was to reduce our time-to-client. We were able to drastically improve our turnaround times by implementing an internal hold time alert system, improving tracking to provide accurate time frames and due dates upon receiving a sample and increasing our capacity.  For more information on those efforts, CLICK HERE.

At WETLAB our client engagement is what sets us apart. We strive to work with our clients to provide the best experience possible. All of these milestones have contributed to achieving our 2023 goal of increasing client engagement and communication. As we look forward to evolving in 2024, client engagement remains a priority, and feedback from you, our clients, is necessary for continuous improvement.

 

Caitrianna Bishop, Client Services Manager