Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
Courier Services at WETLAB

At WETLAB, we try to do everything we can to make things easier for our clients environmental testing needs.  One of the biggest ways we do that is with wide-reaching courier routes that run weekly.  Each of our three offices (Sparks, Elko, and Las Vegas) has their own routes, which makes it easier for clients all over Nevada and parts of California to have their samples analyzed in a timely manner.

For a sample of how far WETLAB travels to better serve you, we’ll take a look at the basic weekly schedule of pick-ups from the Sparks office.

Monday: Herlong, Portola, Grass Valley, North Lake Tahoe

Tuesday: Kirkwood, South Lake Tahoe, East Shore, Yerington

Wednesday: Carson City, Bridgeport, Topaz Lake

Thursday: South Shore, Mt. Rose, North Shore, Winnemucca, Round Mountain, Austin

Friday: Winnemucca upon request

If scheduled ahead of time, WETLAB can also provide basic sampling and off-route pick-up!  And when a storm comes, we make a special storm water route available.


Call us today at (775) 355-0202 to see how WETLAB can make your sample pick-up and delivery easier.

Wetlab’s Phaedra Harmening and Gerry Miller recently spoke at a Cub Scout’s Overland District’s Club Scout Day Camp on Saturday, June 14 in Elko County.

Over 150 Cub Scouts visited Wetlab’s Botany Bay, one of nine stations that included archery, armor making, dragon training, knights in space and tournament sparring. At the Botany Bay station, Harmening and Miller gave each scout a pencil and notepad for notes, and worked with the Scouts on ecological concepts.

One question they posed was, “if Elko County’s population is 50,000, with four zeros, how many zeros are in the current world population of seven billion?”

Harmening and Miller likened the Scouts and their parents to members of a species they called “Overland District Scouts,” who, at the end of the day, would all go back to their individual ecosystem niches, using the analogy to explain the introduction of algae, bacteria, dragons and works into ecosystems.

The two Wetlab volunteers discussed the water cycle, how nature abhors a vacuum, and the place of the top three cereal crops – rice, wheat and corn – as they are used to feed the world.

At the end of the day, when the Scout camp came to an end, the Future Knights of the Round Table gave the loudest round of applause to the scientists from Wetlab.


As the consequences of the government shutdown continue to unfold, one interesting water-related headline popped up in northeastern Nevada – wild horses near Elko that were unable to get water.

The Elko Daily Free Press reported that Jackie Wiscombe, a contractor with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who hauled water for wild horses on BLM land, was told to stop.

“Due to the government shutdown, these animals are in dire circumstances with no water available,” she said in an Oct. 10 article.

Following that article, BLM Elko District Director Jill Silvey sent an employee to check on the horses and water conditions, according to a second article published Oct. 12.

Silvey said that hauling water to the horses was considered an essential service, not intended to be shut down, which meant Wiscombe could go back to work.

“I like working with the BLM office,” she said, “and they really do care about these wild horses.”

Winter Weather & Water Update 

Accuweather.com is the latest player to throw its hat in the ring with winter weather predictions, claiming a wet and snowy winter for much of the West.

“With the East as an exception, most ski resorts country-wide should not have a problem getting up and running this winter,” The prediction states. “This season’s precipitation may even bring drought relief to California, replenishing reservoirs and easing water shortages.”

In particular, the forecast calls for heavy precipitation between December and January.

We always take these long-term forecasts with a grain of salt, but its always nice to find an encouraging forecast.

In this blog, we spend much of our time talking about water quality testing news, science and politics that we find interesting; but with this month’s blog, we decided to do something a little different.

Here at WETLAB we care about maintaining and improving water quality, above and beyond our roll in monitoring it. When we came across some tips for average citizens to help from www.cleanwateraction.org, we thought it was a great fit.

First is some news that’s been getting quite a bit of attention in the last few years: Don’t flush medicines, pharmaceuticals or personal care products down the toilet or down the drain. That includes anything from over-the-counter drugs to cosmetics and even sun screen or vitamins. They can all impact both the environment and our drinking water down the road.
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Don’t use antibacterial soaps when you don’t need to. These products often contain chemicals that harm aquatic life, and can lead to antibiotic resistant germs.

Don’t put motor oil, detergents, fertilizers, pesticides or anything but water down storm drains. And speaking of motor oil, fix any drips or leaks on your car or truck so it doesn’t wash into the water supply with the rain.

Try to use natural gardening products over pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The same goes for inside the home–stay away from toxic household products in cleaning and home care.

Pick up after your pets! Their waste contains bacteria that can end up in the water supply when it’s washed down the storm drain.

Pave less of your property. The more water runs across pavement instead of seeping down into the soil, the greater chance it has to pick up pollutants, pick up speed and cause flooding or erosion.

These are just a few tips we thought were worth sharing. Please add your ideas by commenting on this post or on our Facebook page.

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We want to encourage kids to explore and discover using science and experimentation. That’s why for the past two years our WETLAB team in Elko, headed by Andrew Porter, has volunteered to run a science-oriented station for Eastern Nevada Cub Scout troops at Spring Creek High School.

Andrew grew up as a curious Cub Scout and is still involved with the Boy Scouts as the highest ranking Eagle Scout. In addition, several of the Elko employees have little ones in the Scout programs.

This year, he participated in the annual Boy Scouts day camp. With over 100 scouts from around Eastern Nevada, Andrew conducted fingerprinting with the kids for the CSI-themed day. It was a rewarding experience, allowing Andy and WETLAB to not only volunteer with the scouts, but pass on a love of science and get kids excited about it.

Michelle Sherven is the owner/operator of WETLAB – Western Environmental Testing Laboratory.

WETLAB is a company that has shown tremendous growth over the past year. Michelle took this company from a small start-up to a well established business with overflowing clientele and an increase in revenue and hiring. WETLAB’s revenue increased 29% over the past year, showing enough promise for Michelle to add 4 new full time employees and 7 part time employees. WETLAB started with a total of seven employees. As any entrepreneur knows, creating jobs in a “down” economy is a feat in itself, yet Michelle comfortably made the decision to add to her team because she not only could, but had to. In addition to adding team members, WETLAB was able to expand their working space and equipment list.

WETLAB purchased a new building to conduct business in, adding 11,000 sq ft to their offices and labs. WETLAB also added additional office spaces outside the Reno/Sparks area, purchasing a location in Elko. Along with the extra space, WETLAB’s finances were so stable that Michelle added several new pieces of cutting edge technology testing equipment to the labs, making WETLAB one of the most innovative businesses in their field today. WETLAB solidified that reputation for being on top of their industry by certifying four new test methods to properly provide the scientific data in their water quality tests that governments, mines, environmental restoration organizations and more use on a regular basis to make important development decisions.

Want to talk expansion? WETLAB’s services, sales, and marketing went from being a one state gig to covering a majority of the West Coast in 2010, expanding to California, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. Michelle now has the team, locations, and resources to provide the most innovative water quality testing to whoever her clients may be and wherever those clients are located.

Michelle’s focus on community well being also contributes to her professional notoriety, both for her and WETLAB as a company. Michelle successfully implemented a paperless billing system for in house client reports, receivables and payables systems. Being in the field she is, environmental standards rate high on Michelle’s priority list, and she’s striving to switch as much of her business as possible to a paperless system. She also strives to keep her lab under a full, 100% recycling program, not letting anything go to waste, from tools and toss away equipment to her team’s lunch leftovers.

WETLAB also gives back to the community by volunteering at the Northern Nevada Food Bank, packaging food to go out to needy families. As a dedicated volunteer group, WETLAB was nominated as one of the top companies that volunteer at the food bank.

As a business and community leader, Michelle takes pride in the fact that she puts the well being of her employees, partners, surroundings, and company first. Her top notch standards ensure that her practices are going to stick around for decades to come. And her revenue figures are impressive for a female in a typically male dominated industry.

High standards go hand-in-hand with owning and operating an Environmental Testing Laboratory. Michelle’s ability to maintain her high standards are reflected in the growth and popularity of her lab. WETLAB is known for their precise analytics and high standard of customer service.  This offering a uniquely client-oriented lab environment.

Michelle is a type of person that knows immediately  what attribute is the most influential in regard to the success of WETLAB.  Based on her several years as a business owner and entrepreneur, Michelle has discovered that at the very top of the list is the distinguishing quality of integrity. Michelle believes that integrity is at the helm of her company. Michelle keeps integrity present throughout the deepest layers of her company and not just at its surface.  She wants integrity to be the heart and soul of the company’s culture in order to run a company that succeeds, and not company that falters.

As a wife and mother of two, Michelle’s continued commitment to her family and company has always amazed me.  She has very strong determination to be successful as she have proven this determination through her ability to maintain harmony through her personal and business life.  Without this ability I am not sure any entrepreneur would survive.

Michelle is not only committed to her friends, family and company but she has created a new standard for how companies should represent themselves throughout the community.

A great example that comes to mind is WETLAB’s ongoing volunteering efforts at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN).  The WETLAB staff volunteers their entire evening once a month to the FBNN packaging food.