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Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
WETLAB, Your Local Source for Organics Testing

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
  • SOWA

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

In Our WETLAB World

NAE Training Recap

Our WETLAB managers participated in the Fundamentals, and Advanced Skills seminars, hosted by Nevada Association of Employers (NAE) this year. These training sessions aid supervisors with a better understanding of regulatory laws, how to troubleshoot uncomfortable situations, strengthen their leadership skills, and so much more! Learn more at https://www.nevadaemployers.org/supervisor-training/.

 

HAA5 Certification 

We are excited to announce the new Certification of Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) by EPA Method 553.2, granted by the State of Nevada last month, expanding our Sparks lab testing capabilities. The addition of HAA5, in conjunction with the Trihalomethanes (TTHM) certification, which we’ve held since 2022, further solidifies our position as a trusted partner in drinking water compliance testing. To learn more click here .

 

In Our Industry

NMA Annual Convention

Garry Gray and Mckenna Oh had the awesome opportunity to attend the 2023 Nevada Mining Association (NMA) Conference which was held in South Lake Tahoe on September 6th through 9th.

Nevada Water Resources Association (NWRA) Fall Symposium

The two-day event featured 26 presentations, a dozen exhibitors (including WETLAB) and provided an excellent opportunity to interact with the various presenters and water related entities from Nevada.

ACG Mine Closure Conference recap and Great Basin Hospitality Night

We enjoyed partaking and learning at the International Conferences on Mine Closure which was held locally in Reno, NV this year. The series provides topical and high-quality papers and presentations on a range of topics of immediate interest and relevance. A key feature of the conference series is the diversity of disciplines and expertise that come together to focus on the pressing issues facing the mine closure community globally. We topped off the conference by co-hosting Great Basin Hospitality Night with SRK and National Drilling.

 

In Our Community

Reed High School Girls Golf Sponsorship

Thanks to an invite from RICH, WETLAB Sponsored the Reed High School Golf Tournament.

 

Bringing the Holiday Spirit to the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home

Our team gathered together to make ornaments for the residents of the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home. We are hopeful our contributions bring joy and merriment to their holiday seasons!

Northern Nevada State Veterans Home is the premier long-term care and rehabilitation facility in Sparks, providing post-acute rehabilitation, extended skilled nursing care, and specialized memory care. Eligibility for the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home includes U.S. Veterans who have served active duty, spouses of Veterans, and Gold Star Parents. For more information visit their website here.

We are excited to announce the new Certification of Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) by EPA Method 553.2, granted by the State of Nevada last month, expanding our Sparks lab testing capabilities. The addition of HAA5, in conjunction with the Trihalomethanes (TTHM) certification, which we’ve held since 2022, further solidifies our position as a trusted partner in drinking water compliance testing.

Haloacetic Acids-5 (HAA5) is a group of five specific disinfection byproducts that can form when chlorine or other disinfectants react with organic and inorganic matter in water during the water treatment process. The five specific acids included in HAA5 are monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid.

Importance & Benefits of Certification

  1. Public Health Protection – Certified laboratories play a vital role in safeguarding public health, reliable information allows water treatment facilities to make informed decisions to mitigate health risks associated with disinfection byproducts, ensuring the safety of drinking water.
  2. Regulatory Compliance – Ensures standards and methodologies are met when analyzing levels of HAA5 in water samples, accurate and reliable data are necessary for water treatment facilities to meet regulatory standards.
  3. Credibility and Trust – When laboratories are accredited for HAA5 analysis, it instills trust in regulatory agencies, water treatment facilities, and the public. This trust is essential for maintaining the integrity of water quality monitoring and management.
  4. Standardization of Processes & Sustainable Operations – Certification promotes the standardization of testing procedures, methodologies, and reporting. Consistent practices across laboratories ensure uniformity in HAA5 measurements, facilitating accurate comparisons and evaluations of water quality data.
  5. Enhanced Water Quality Management – Certification contributes to the overall improvement of water quality management by establishing standardized testing procedures. This consistency allows for better monitoring, analysis, and decision-making regarding water treatment strategies.

Certification Process

  1. Laboratory Accreditation – Accreditation ensures that the laboratory follows recognized standards and meets specific competency requirements.
  2. Method Validation – demonstrating the accuracy, precision, and reliability of the chosen methodology in measuring HAA5 levels in water samples.
  3. Quality Assurance and Control – implementing a robust quality assurance and control program that  includes regular calibration of equipment, proficiency testing, and adherence to standard operating procedures to ensure the accuracy and reliability of results.
  4. Participation in Interlaboratory Studies/Proficiency Testing Programs – external validation helps confirm the laboratory’s analytical competency and proficiency in HAA5 analysis.

Criteria and Parameters in the Certification Process

  1. Methodological Rigor – Demonstrate adherence to standardized procedures to ensure the accuracy and reliability of results.
  2. Analytical Performance – Meet specific performance criteria, such as precision, accuracy, and detection limits, when analyzing HAA5 in water samples.
  3. Compliance with Regulatory Standards – Demonstrate the ability to analyze HAA5 levels in accordance with regulatory standards, including the determination of compliance with established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).
  4. Quality Management Systems – Implementation of a comprehensive quality management system that encompasses documentation, traceability, and continuous improvement processes to ensure the overall reliability of laboratory operations.

We look forward to better serving our clients and community with our new testing capabilities.

Meet some of our WETLAB team members!

  • Meet Monica– With over 20 years of experience, Monica most recently worked as an HR consultant with experience including executive-level fiscal and people operations/HR management with hospitals, medical/biotechnology, human resources firms, California county, and the state of Nevada. Monica is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and has a Bachelor of Science in business management and an Associate of Art in criminal justice. In her new role as business office manager, she is responsible for managing the administrative support infrastructure of WETLAB’s daily operations, including office/facility management, supply chain activities, fleet management, AP/AR oversight and all human resources processes.

 

  • Meet Laura– a passionate and dedicated worker with an interest in and talent for scientific research. As quality assurance specialist at WETLAB, Laura is responsible for helping oversee data management, data quality, and adherence to Standard Operating Procedures & Methods. Laura attended the College of Wooster in Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in biology/biological sciences. Originally from California, she also served as a volunteer at the North Roseville REC Center, where she helped provide a safe and engaging environment for children from low-income families to play sports, visit the library, study, and experience positive social interaction with fellow peers.

 

  • Meet Vanessa– Vanessa is a chromatography scientist who helps analyze VOC samples, as well as assist in extracting and analyzing TPH samples. In addition, she also helps out the IC department by helping the analyst troubleshoot any instrumentations and software issues. Vanessa moved to Reno in 2014 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in environmental science, and shortly thereafter started working at WETLAB. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the river, and hanging out with her dog, fiance, and friends. 

 

  • Meet Krysta– Krysta is a chromatography/organics analyst that is responsible for extracting, running, and analyzing samples. In her previous role, she worked at a local institute where she studied and analyzed air quality samples. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a dual minor in biochemistry and chemistry.  When she’s not in the lab, Krysta serves at the cafe in the Grace Church every Sunday, and also coaches varsity volleyball for Truckee High School.

 

The Chromatography Group at WETLAB has been very busy over the past year.  It has been an exciting time in both areas of production and method development.  They have been providing data to our clients for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), Total Organic Carbon and recently completed method development for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).  The group is currently finishing method development for VOC in soils and Halo acetic Acids (HAA5) and readying them for production in September of 2023.  With these new methods online, we look forward to the opportunity to increase our ability to offer data for environmental solutions.  Providing high level quality data starts at the collection process. In this issue of Lessons from the Lab we would like to share some best practices for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) analysis collection.

The methodology for VOC analysis requires the addition of chemical preservatives prior to sample collection.  WETLAB provides pre-preserved vials to collect the samples for your convenience.  Depending on the matrix and/or compounds of concern, there are specific preservatives required.  For drinking analyzed via EPA 524.2, samples are to be acidified to pH of <2 at the time of collection, but after dichlorination.  WETLAB provides zero headspace vials with 1:1 HCl.  Samples for TTHM (Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chlorodibromomethane, Chloroform (Trichloromethane)) may be preserved with sodium thiosulfate.  For non-drinking water matrices analyzed by EPA 624.1 or 8260, samples are to be acidified to pH of <2 at the time of collection in vials with 1:1 HCl.  Should 2-Chloroethyl vinyl ether, Acrolein or Acrylonitrile be required, a second set of samples must be taken in unpreserved vials.

All samples should be chilled to 4°C ± 2°C when collected and maintained at that temperature until analysis.  During sample collection, the vials should be filled so that no air bubbles are trapped when the bottle is sealed, per SW-846 5021A “Volatile Organic Compounds in Various Matrices Using Equilibrium Headspace Analysis”: Due to differing solubility and diffusion properties of gases in liquid matrices at different temperatures, it is possible for the sample to generate some headspace during storage. The diameter of any bubble caused by degassing upon cooling the sample should not exceed 5 – 6 mm. When a bubble is present, also inspect the cap and septum to ensure that a proper seal was made at the time of sampling. The presence of a macro bubble in a sample vial generally indicates either improper sampling technique or a source of gas evolution within the sample. The latter case is usually accompanied by a buildup of pressure within the vial, (e.g. carbonate-containing samples preserved with acid). Studies conducted by the USEPA (EMSL-Ci, unpublished data) indicate that “pea-sized” bubbles (i.e. bubbles not exceeding 1/4 inch or 6 mm in diameter) did not adversely affect volatile data. These bubbles were generally encountered in wastewater samples, which are more susceptible to variations in gas solubility, than groundwater samples.

Another good practice for sample collection is to completely fill out a chain of custody form and sample bottles, with system name and ID, sample point ID, sample collection date and time, and sample matrix. 

If you have questions regarding sample collection procedures, please feel free to contact WETLAB Client Services at 775-355-0202. 

 

We want to hear from you! 

At WETLAB, we are committed to constant growth and improvement. As we continue to expand, we believe that your insights are invaluable in shaping our path forward. We invite you to share your thoughts on what you’d like to see from WETLAB as we broaden our horizons. Your input will directly influence our strategies and offerings as we strive to meet and exceed your expectations. Together, we can shape the future of WETLAB and continue to provide you with exceptional service. Thank you for being a vital part of our growth, and we look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions!

In Our WETLAB World 

Summer Interns

We are so grateful to have had some amazing interns at the lab this summer! We enjoyed being able to provide some experience in a lab, as well as get a little summer help! We welcomed two summer interns, Parsa Valdez and Kira Romberg! Parsa is a senior at Sage Ridge High School here in Reno, and Kira is going into her sophomore year at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. Parsa interned in Sample Control assisting with bottle kits, bottle prep and sample filtration. Many thanks to our awesome interns!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chickadee Ridge Hike

The employees and family members of WETLAB enjoyed a hike at Chickadee Ridge at the end of June! The ridge still had a lot of snow, so instead we hiked nearby to Incline Lake. Afterwards, our team member Lily hosted a get together, and we had drinks at Incline Beach! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Certification

We are excited to announce that our lab has received two new certifications! We received the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) by EPA 8260, issued by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). This certification gives us the ability to determine volatile organic compounds in a variety of solid waste matrices. We also will receive our Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) by EPA 552, issued by NDEP, in September! This provides us with the capability to identify haloacetic acids, which constitute a group of chemicals generated in conjunction with other disinfection byproducts. These byproducts emerge as a result of the reaction between chlorine, as well as other disinfectants used to control microbial impurities in drinking water, with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter within the water.

 

Goal Setting With Life Pulse

We are so pleased that our team members were able to train with Lifepulseinc.com! The main topic of the workshop was the introduction of Value Based Gap Goals. According to Life Pulse, by leveraging alignment, these goals create instant value and drive towards your desired outcome. They enable individuals and organizations to bridge the gap between their current state and their desired outcome. Thank you to Life Pulse for providing us with this wonderful opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Our Industry 

WETLAB Attends the 2023 NV MPD Annual Meeting

On August 25th and 26th, our team will attend the 2023 NV MPD Annual Meeting in Reno. The NV MPD’s purpose is to provide technical development for mineral processing professionals and to promote advances in methods and techniques for process improvements, cost reductions, and project development. The meeting also helps to raise funds for educational priorities, such as student scholarships to help future professionals in our industry. We look forward to learning and meeting with our fellow industry professionals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WETLAB Team Attends TRI State

From August 7th to the 10th, our team attended the Annual Tri State Seminar at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This seminar provides a very diverse offering of technical sessions. The classes are taught by respected experts from the water and wastewater industry. We were so honored to attend, and learned so much from industry experts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Annual NVMA Convention is Here

Garry Gray and Mckenna Oh have the awesome opportunity to attend the annual NVMA convention. The Nevada Mining Association has hosted its annual convention along the shores of majestic Lake Tahoe for more than 40 years. We are so excited for the 4 days of networking, learning, and fun! Make sure to stop by and say hi!

 

 

 

 

Kick for a Cause

Wanona and Lauren were super excited to attend the WETLAB-sponsored Kick for a Cause event on June 24th. The annual kickball tournament helps support local children with special needs to acquire alternative treatments and therapies not covered by insurance. It also helps to connect special needs families with necessary resources. Lauren formed 2 teams with members from her local softball teams- Team Wet n Wild and Team Kick Rocks! There were a total of 24 teams at the event. Our team members had WETLAB decals on their jerseys and passed out stickers and pens. Awesome job team! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Our Community

GOTR Breakfast

Girls on the Run Sierras hosted their 2023 Limitless Potential breakfast, which was a HUGE success!  GOTR supporters gathered at The Renaissance Reno to learn about our mission, hear firsthand accounts of how GOTR benefits the girls in our community and were able to enjoy a healthy breakfast. Two GOTR sisters had the opportunity to speak about their experience and we were able to hear some words of wisdom from the VP of Council Development at Girls on the Run International, April Massett, speak. All together, they were able to raise $15,000! As a sponsor of the event, we are proud to support Girls on the Run Sierras. In addition, our very own president Michelle Sherven is a dedicated member on the GOTR Board of Directors. Our team is honored to be involved with such a passionate and important organization within our community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McClelland Hosts Golf Tournament for Books for Kids

The McClelland Laboratories Golf Tournament, which raises money for the Books for Kids Program, is always a fun time for the team at WETLAB and we are proud to be a sponsor! Supporting the McClelland Literacy Foundation and their goal to get kids reading, this tournament’s proceeds all go to Read for the Ride and Books for Kids. These are two amazing programs that give books away to the youth in our community and a vehicle to a student at Sparks High School who earns raffle tickets through Reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald McDonald Golf

WETLAB is always dedicated to supporting our community. We are so excited to be attending The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament on September 15th! Taking place at Wild Island, this awesome event helps raise funds to keep families close while their children are at the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys and Girls Club Field Trip 

During their “Lead Through Nature Camp Week’, kids ages 9-12 from the Boys and Girls Club of Nevada were able to enjoy a day at the Laboratory where they were able to learn about all things environmental testing related. We always aim to help inspire kids to learn more about the world around them and how to make a positive impact on it.

The Boys and Girls Club of Nevada enjoyed a day at the Laboratory where they were able to tour the lab during their “Lead Through Nature Camp Week’. The laboratory tour, led by our amazing team, provided an insightful glimpse into the world of scientific research and its impact on the environment.

The highlight of the day was the hands-on experience that the children enjoyed. Throughout the day, the children were able to enjoy various interactive activities and engaging lessons. 

By nurturing their understanding of the environment, we hope that these children will go on to become scientists and researchers. We had so much fun teaching the kids about the world around us!