FAQ

  1. Does CLS Labs do sampling?
  2. Does CLS Labs have couriers?
  3. Does CLS Labs provide bottles to clients?
  4. Who are CLS Labs clients?
  5. Is CLS Labs  ELAP Certified?
  6. Are there discounts for volume samples?
  7. Are tours available of CLS Labs Labs?
  8. Is there one test that will determine the quality of my water?
  9. What is the potability test for drinking water?
  10. Do you test for Chromium-6?
  11. What are your TAT times?
  12. What options are available if I need results before the report is ready?
  13. Is CLS Labs open on the weekend?
  14. What if I have urgent projects or sample questions and need answers fast?
  15. Glossary of Terms


1. Does CLS Labs do sampling?

Our laboratory can provide well water sampling and in some cases industrial drainage sampling.

“Our field technicians’ greatest asset is their capability to perform various sampling tasks in the field. CLS Labs maintains an adequate supply of ISCO composite samplers, groundwater monitoring well pumps, bailers, drive-hammers and field test equipment to satisfy various job tasks. Each technician is trained in the proper use and latest testing protocols available.”

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2. Does CLS Labs have couriers?
Yes, we have couriers who can pick up samples to ease the sample delivery burden on our clients. We do request a minimum of 24 hours notice to fit your need into our rotation.

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3. Does CLS Labs provide bottles to the client?
Yes, we provide bottles to our clients at no charge. It is our hope that our clients honor this courtesy by returning your bottles/samples to CLS Labs for analysis. We provide quality service, reasonable rates, and fast turnaround. You may request bottles online using our convenient form.

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4. Who are your clients?
CLS Labs has seven analytical departments and handles jobs from state and federal agencies, industrial clients, engineering firms, and private individuals for projects of any size, large or small.  We have provided comprehensive analytical services for the US government. Numerous projects have been completed for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) including those regulated by the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence (AFCEE) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). Our laboratory has also performed analyses for various Superfund sites throughout the United States. We have also provided extensive analytical services for projects from various foreign countries.

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5. Is CLS Labs ELAP Certified?
Yes, our certification number is: 1233.

CLS Labs holds certification in California for hazardous waste, waste water, and drinking water parameters. Our lab also has extensive experience in serving municipalities, counties, and state requirements for water analyses.

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6. Are there discounts offered for volume samples?
Yes, if samples are 15 or greater we are able to discount more per project.

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7. Are tours available of CLS Labs?
Yes. We encourage our clients to stop by and visit the laboratory. Contact us today to schedule a tour and see how our lab operates. You will learn how samples are run and processed for our clients. We look forward to hearing from you.

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8. Is there one test that will determine the quality of my water?
Unfortunately, no. There is not a single test that can tell you everything that might be in your water. CLS Labs will assist you in determining what analyses will provide you the most useful information within your needs and budget.

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9. What is the potability test for drinking water?
This test determines the fitness of the water for drinking. The very basic test is Coliform or bacteria presence.

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10. Do you test for Chromium-6 (Hexavalent Chromium)?
Yes. As a part of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program and the DOHS request for the monitoring of vulnerable drinking water sources, CLS Labs is available to serve you with your Chromium-6 testing needs.

For regulated and unregulated (Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations 64450) chemicals requiring monitoring, contact CLS Labs Client Services.

Hexavalent Chromium – Chromium-6
Metals Analysis, Matrix-Water/Other
EPA Method 218.6/7196 EPA 7199
Other methods are available with higher detection limits.

Perchlorate
Inorganic Analysis, Matrix-Water,
EPA Method 300.0/314.0

MTBE
Petroleum Fuels, Matrix-Water,/Soil
EPA Method 8015/602/8020
EPA Method 524.2
EPA Method 8260

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11. What are your turnaround times (TAT)?

Our standard TAT is 5 working days but we also offer faster TAT to analyze projects on a 3, 2 day or 24 hour TAT. Surcharges are applicable if other than a 5 day TAT is requested.

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12. What options are available if I need results before the final report is ready?

Our Client Service Department can send the data by fax, e-mail, or web-based linking system utilizing our information management system.

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13. Is CLS Labs open on the weekend?

We are not currently open on the weekend however, contact us as soon as possible so we can make special arrangements to meet your needs. Please provide 48 hours notification if a weekend drop-off is required.

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14. What if I have urgent project or sample questions and need answers fast?

Our Client Service Representatives will take action on ANY client NEED. The staff at CLS Labs is trained to move quickly and efficiently within our organization and information systems. We are committed to providing person to person client services.

A successful business depends on clients and satisfying their needs. CLS Labs places the clients at the highest level of importance. We will try to do what you want when you want it. Communication is the key to success for all parties. Do not hesitate to contact us and get to know your staff at CLS Labs.

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15. Glossary of Terms

Action Level
Definition: The level of lead or copper which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

Acute Health Effect
Definition: An immediate (i.e. within hours or days) effect that may result from exposure to certain drinking water contaminants (e.g., pathogens).

Aquifer
Definition: A natural underground layer, often of sand or gravel, that contains water.

Best Available Technology
Definition: The water treatment(s) that EPA certifies to be the most effective for removing a contaminant. Anything found in water (including microorganisms, minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) which may be harmful to human health..

Chronic Health Effect
Definition: The possible result of exposure over many years to a drinking water contaminantHelp contaminant Anything found in water (including microorganisms, minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) which may be harmful to human health. at levels above its MCLHelp MCL The highest level of a contaminant that EPA allows in drinking water. MCLs ensure that drinking water does not pose either a short-term or long-term health risk. EPA sets MCLs at levels that are economically and technologically feasible. Some states set MCLs which are more strict than EPA’s..

Coliform
Definition: A group of related bacteria whose presence in drinking water may indicate contamination by disease-causing microorganisms. Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some microorganisms can cause acute health problems when consumed in drinking water..

Community Water System
Definition: A water system which supplies drinking water to 25 or more of the same people year-round in their residences.

Compliance
Definition: The act of meeting all state and federal drinking water regulations.

Contaminant
Definition: Anything found in water (including microorganisms. Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some microorganisms can cause acute health problems when consumed in drinking water., minerals, chemicals, radionuclides. Any man-made or natural element that emits radiation and that may cause cancer after many years of exposure through drinking water., etc.) which may be harmful to human health.

Cryptosporidium
Definition: A microorganism commonly found in lakes and rivers which is highly resistant to disinfection. CryptosporidiumHelp Cryptosporidium A microorganism commonly found in lakes and rivers which is highly resistant to disinfection. Cryptosporidium has caused several large outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness, with symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea, and/or stomach cramps. People with severely weakened immune systems (that is, severely immuno-compromised) are likely to have more severe and more persistent symptoms than healthy individuals. has caused several large outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness, with symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea, and/or stomach cramps.

Disinfectant
Definition: A chemical (commonly chlorine, chloramine, or ozone) or physical process (e.g., ultraviolet light) that kills microorganismsHelp microorganisms Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some microorganisms can cause acute health problems when consumed in drinking water. such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

Distribution System
Definition: A network of pipes leading from a treatment plant to customers’ plumbing systems.

Exemption
Definition: State or EPA permission for a water system not to meet a certain drinking water standard. An exemption allows a system additional time to obtain financial assistance or make improvements in order to come into compliance with the standard. The system must prove that: (1) there are compelling reasons (including economic factors) why it cannot meet a MCL or Treatment Technique; (2) it was in operation on the effective date of the requirement, and (3) the exemption will not create an unreasonable risk to public health. The state must set a schedule under which the water system will comply with the standard for which it received an exemption. allows a system additional time to obtain financial assistance or make improvements in order to come into compliance. The act of meeting all state and federal drinking water regulations.

Finished Water
Definition: Water that has been treated and is ready to be delivered to customers.

Giardia Lamblia
Definition: A microorganism frequently found in rivers and lakes, which, if not treated properly, may cause diarrhea, fatigue, and cramps after ingestion.

Ground Water
Definition: The water that systems pump and treat from aquifers (natural reservoirs below the earth’s surface).

Health Advisory
Definition: An EPA document that provides guidance and information on contaminants that can affect human health and that may occur in drinking water, but which EPA does not currently regulate in drinking water.

Inorganic Contaminants
Definition: Mineral-based compounds such as metals, nitrates, and asbestos. These contaminants are naturally-occurring in some water, but can also get into water through farming, chemical manufacturing, and other human activities. EPA has set legal limits on 15 inorganic contaminants. Mineral-based compounds such as metals, nitrates, and asbestos. These contaminants are naturally-occurring in some water, but can also get into water through farming, chemical manufacturing, and other human activities. EPA has set legal limits on 15 inorganic contaminants.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
Definition: The level of a contaminantHelp contaminant Anything found in water (including microorganisms, minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) which may be harmful to human health. at which there would be no risk to human health. This goal is not always economically or technologically feasible, and the goal is not legally enforceable.
Acronym: MCLG

Maximum Contaminant Level
Definition: The highest level of a contaminantHelp contaminant Anything found in water (including microorganisms, minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) which may be harmful to human health. that EPA allows in drinking water. MCLs ensure that drinking water does not pose either a short-term or long-term health risk. EPA sets MCLs at levels that are economically and technologically feasible. Some states set MCLs which are more strict than EPA’s.
Acronym: MCL

Microbes/Microorganisms
Definition: Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some microorganismsHelp microorganisms Tiny living organisms that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. Some microorganisms can cause acute health problems when consumed in drinking water. can cause acute health problems when consumed in drinking water.

Monitoring
Definition: Testing that water systems must perform to detect and measure contaminants. A water system that does not follow EPA’s monitoring. Testing that water systems must perform to detect and measure contaminants. A water system that does not follow EPA’s monitoring methodology or schedule is in violation, and may be subject to legal action. methodology or schedule is in violation. A failure to meet any state or federal drinking water regulation., and may be subject to legal action.

Non-Transient, Non-Community Water System
Definition: A water system which supplies water to 25 or more of the same people at least six months per year in places other than their residences. Some examples are schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals which have their own water systems.

Organic Contaminants
Definition: Carbon-based chemicals, such as solvents and pesticides, which can get into water through runoff from cropland or discharge from factories. EPA has set legal limits on 56 organic contaminantsHelp organic contaminants Carbon-based chemicals, such as solvents and pesticides, which can get into water through runoff from cropland or discharge from factories. EPA has set legal limits on 56 organic contaminants.

Pathogen
Definition: A disease-causing organism.

Primacy State
Definition: A State that has the responsibility and authority to administer EPA’s drinking water regulations within its borders. The State must have rules at least as stringent as EPA’s.

Public Notification
Definition: An advisory that EPA requires a water system to distribute to affected consumers when the system has violated MCLs or other regulations. The notice advises consumers what precautions, if any, they should take to protect their health.

Public Water System
Definition: Any water system which provides water to at least 25 people for at least 60 days annually. There are more than 170,000 PWSs providing water from wells, rivers, or other sources to about 250 million Americans. The others drink water from private wells. There are differing standards for PWSs of different sizes and types.
Acronym: PWS

Radionuclides
Definition: Any man-made or natural element that emits radiation and that may cause cancer after many years of exposure through drinking water.

Raw Water
Definition: Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking.

Sample
Definition: The water that is analyzed for the presence of EPA-regulated drinking water contaminants. Depending on the regulation, EPA requires water systems and states to take samples from source water. Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking., from water leaving the treatment facility, or from the taps of selected consumers.

Sanitary Survey
Definition: An on-site review of the water sources, facilities, equipment, operation, and maintenance of a public water systemHelp public water system Any water system which provides water to at least 25 people for at least 60 days annually. There are more than 170,000 PWSs providing water from wells, rivers, or other sources to about 250 million Americans. The others drink water from private wells. There are differing standards for PWSs of different sizes and types. for the purpose of evaluating the adequacy of the facilities for producing and distributing safe drinking water.

Secondary Drinking Water Standards
Definition: Non-enforceable federal guidelines regarding cosmetic effects (such as tooth or skin discoloration) or aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) of drinking water.

Sole Source Aquifer
Definition: An aquifer. A natural underground layer, often of sand or gravel, that contains water. that supplies 50 percent or more of the drinking water of an area.

Source Water
Definition: Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking.

Surface Water
Definition: The water that systems pump and treat from sources open to the atmosphere, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Transient, Non-Community Water System
Definition: A water system which provides water in a place such as a gas station or campground where people do not remain for long periods of time. These systems do not have to test or treat their water for contaminants which pose long-term health risks because fewer than 25 people drink the water over a long period.

Treatment Technique
Definition: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminantHelp contaminant Anything found in water (including microorganisms, minerals, chemicals, radionuclides, etc.) which may be harmful to human health. in drinking water.

Turbidity
Definition: The cloudy appearance of water caused by the presence of tiny particles. High levels of turbidityHelp turbidity The cloudy appearance of water caused by the presence of tiny particles. High levels of turbidity may interfere with proper water treatment and monitoring. A water system that does not follow EPA’s monitoring methodology or schedule is in violation, and may be subject to legal action.

Variance
Definition: State or EPA permission not to meet a certain drinking water standard. The water system must prove that: (1) it cannot meet a MCLHelp MCL The highest level of a contaminant that EPA allows in drinking water. MCLs ensure that drinking water does not pose either a short-term or long-term health risk. EPA sets MCLs at levels that are economically and technologically feasible. Some states set MCLs which are more strict than EPA’s., even while using the best available treatment method, because of the characteristics of the raw waterHelp raw water Water in its natural state, prior to any treatment for drinking., and (2) the varianceHelp variance State or EPA permission not to meet a certain drinking water standard. The water system must prove that: (1) it cannot meet a MCL, even while using the best available treatment method, because of the characteristics of the raw water, and (2) the variance will not create an unreasonable risk to public health. The State or EPA must review, and allow public comment on, a variance every three years. States can also grant variances to water systems that serve small populations and which prove that they are unable to afford the required treatment, an alternative water source, or otherwise comply with the standard.

Violation
Definition: A failure to meet any state or federal drinking water regulation.

Vulnerability Assessment
Definition: An evaluation of drinking water source quality and its vulnerability to contamination by pathogens and toxic chemicals.

Watershed
Definition: The land area from which water drains into a stream, river, or reservoir.

Wellhead Protection Area
Definition: The area surrounding a drinking water well or well field which is protected to prevent contamination of the well(s).

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