Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
1st Annual WETLAB Victory Run

WETLAB hosted the first annual Victory Run 5k and Family Fun Run benefitting the Veteran’s Guest House on May 6th.  With the amazing support and participation of our community, WETLAB donated over $13,000 to VGH!  Over 120 people participated in (and finished!) this great event.

We couldn’t have made this race happen without our generous sponsors.

5k sponsors


Finish times can be found here, and all race photos are on our Facebook page.

Join us next year for another great event!

PK Electrical and WetLab sponsor Girls on the Run. Congratulations, Brookfield Bears, on finishing the 5K!  

Girls on the Run Nov 2017

PK Electrical and WETLAB were elated to sponsor the Brookfield Bears team in the Girls on the Run – Sierras 5K Race on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. We would like to congratulate all of the participants for their hard work – over 320 girls crossed the finish line in just 59 minutes! The mission of Girls on the Run – Sierras is to foster and introduce self-esteem and values through health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training using a fun, experience-based curriculum.

As Founder, President and CEO of PK Electrical, Karen Purcell (pictured top left) understands the importance of empowering young girls and women and providing resources to encourage leadership and confidence. Ms. Purcell started PK Electrical Inc., a woman-owned electrical engineering firm, in 1996 in Reno, Nevada and has since witnessed the company grow to a dedicated team of 33 employees and expanded to add a second office in Denver, Colorado. As a professional engineer in a male-dominated industry, Karen has experienced many hurdles, both professionally and personally, and hopes to share her stories and insight to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Western Environmental Testing Laboratory (WETLAB) is also a women-owned firm specializing in the niche market of environmental testing services specific to Nevada, California, Idaho and Wyoming. Owner and President, Michelle Sherven is pictured (top right) cheering on the Bears.

The Girls on the Run – Sierras website (https://www.girlsontherunsierras.org/) gives heartwarming insight into the results this program is having on young girls. “A recent independent study provides compelling evidence that Girls on the Run is highly effective at driving transformative and lasting change in the lives of third to fifth grade girls. The program’s intentional curriculum places an emphasis on developing competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and contribution in young girls through lessons that incorporate running and other physical activities. Throughout the course of the ten-week program, girls learn critical life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others and making intentional decisions. It is the combination of the research-based curriculum, trained coaches and a commitment to serve all girls that sets Girls on the Run apart from other after-school programs.”

WETLAB is thrilled to share this write-up from PK Electrical about our co-sponsorship of our Girls on the Run team.  Girls on the Run is a valuable community organization, and we are happy to help them further their goals.

Nevada is home to many beautiful, expansive, and green golf courses.  But, Nevada is also a dry, arid desert which is currently going through a severe drought, and there’s no end in sight.  How are these two seemingly irreconcilable realities coexisting?  Well, that’s a multi-faceted answer.

Golf courses go hand-in-hand with Nevada’s hospitality and luxury industries, and companies would be hard pressed to simply let their green investments die a brown, crunchy death.  So companies, and courses, have gotten a little creative.  While they started with the obvious measures of reducing overall usage, and examining pipes for leaks, the reduction was simply was not enough.  Golf courses have now started using treated effluent water as a means for watering their massive lawns.  Many courses in Nevada, especially those lining the Las Vegas strip, have used gray water for several years, but effluent water is a newer usage concept.  Effluent water differs from gray water in that it must be more treated, since it can contain sewage.  Using effluent water, instead of fresh water or even gray water, means a reduction of demand for potable water, which in turn means that our dwindling water supply can hold out a bit longer.

Northern Nevada golf courses have capitalized on the use of treated effluent water as a means to water their grass.  It’s clear that the water-saving measure isn’t negatively impacting the golf courses, too, because the lawns are bright green and thriving.  You just have to drive by Washoe County’s Sierra Sage Golf Course in Stead to see that this is a great way to water the turf.  Sierra Sage gets their water from the City of Reno’s Stead Water Reclamation Facility, where the effluent water is treated to the point where it is no longer dangerous, but still not potable.

Another impact of this ever-worsening drought?  Shorter winters mean more time on the putting green.


WETLAB tests effluent water for EPA compliance, and water for golf courses is no exception.  WETLAB will also test all of your runoff and fertilizer samples, call (775) 355-0202 for more information.

Each year, Galena High School hosts a Career Fair for its sophomore students. The goal of the career fair is to expose students to the possibilities and realities of a successful career path. Sophomores are invited because 10th grade is often the point at which they begin looking into colleges and potential career interests. Professionals from various backgrounds participate as speakers, teaching kids about their jobs including education, how they got to where they are, volunteer service, the importance of networking and more.

Starting the day early at Galena High School, our group set up displays. We had pamphlets with pictures of the lab, a beaker filled with concentrated beet juice and an Erlenmeyer flask with diluted beet juice to show a small portion of lab processes. Most importantly, we had the WETLAB mascot, a Labrador, with its personal protective gear on to demonstrate the importance of safety and to show that science can be fun. These items provided visuals for the kids and were used during our presentations. We engaged the students by asking questions about their own interests and discussing how there are many different and exciting careers in the scientific field.

The first groups of students did not have many questions, but had a genuine interest in a diverse range of careers in the scientific community. The later groups were more vocal and asked questions ranging from work hours, how often we dealt with the public and the amount of technology available to work with. We hope we sparked some interest and motivation in the children that are our future.

We presented to six groups of sophomore students for 20 minutes each. We talked about what WETLAB does and why our business is so important. Most students seemed fairly knowledgeable about water quality and the need for testing in Nevada, as well as locally here in the Truckee Basin. Each of us discussed our education and work history as well as provided suggestions for volunteering and networking. With different backgrounds and career paths, the students got to hear our individual perspectives and learn about the unique experiences that led us to our current careers. This helped to emphasize that there is more than one way to find an interesting and fulfilling career if you follow your passion. While we all had varying messages, the resonating theme was to stick with your studies, despite the challenges, because in the end, a career in science is very rewarding.

While it will be a few years before these kids enter the workforce, their desire for a career in science and the level of interest is encouraging. Our industry has a promising future if we continue to feed young minds and encourage them, teaching them how to deal with challenges and overcome obstacles to pursue what is important to them. Hopefully, networking in a more intimate setting plants the seed that will inspire them to grow toward their goals, prepare for higher education and gain crucial career experience.

Following our mantra that no one should ever go hungry, we began volunteering at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission. Once per month, the WETLAB team dishes up breakfast for the women and children that come to Mission and helps put together more than 1,000 meals to help improve the lives of those in need. With more than 50 years of serving the Reno-Sparks communities, the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission is a model organization that demonstrates a never-ending dedication to helping others. In total, the Gospel Mission has served nearly 8 million meals to homeless individuals and families.

Since the start of 2013, when the WETLAB team made a decision to support the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, we’ve had a chance to bond as professionals over hot meals that reach the hands and mouths of those less fortunate than us. It is our pleasure to continue serving meals and supporting the efforts of the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission.