GE Analytical Instruments

Case study - GE and Severn Trent Services work together to gain UKAS accreditation for drinking water and waste waters


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Severn Trent Services (STS) is a leading provider of analytical services with a network of five laboratories and two service centers across the UK and Ireland. For over 20 years, STS has provided various analytical, sampling and monitoring services to meet customers’ requirements in areas such as potable water, waste water, groundwater, legionella, contaminated land, waste management, asbestos, endocrine disrupting chemicals, cryptosporidium, and pharmaceuticals.

Severn Trent Services is a member of the Severn Trent Group of companies which is a leading FTSE 100 company. Severn Trent generates revenues of over £2 billion, and employs more than 15,000 people across the UK, US, and Europe.

GE Analytical Instruments is part of GE Water & Process Technologies, a leading global supplier of water treatment, wastewater treatment, and process systems solutions. GE Analytical Instruments is the world’s leading dedicated manufacturer of on-line, portable and laboratory instruments used to measure total organic carbon (TOC) in water.


As an environmental contract laboratory, Severn Trent Services has a strong focus on liquid testing, including both potable waters and waste waters. One of the key tests STS performs is TOC analysis. Recently, STS chose GE Analytical Instruments as their exclusive supplier of TOC analyzers for both their Coventry (four instruments) and Wakefield sites (two instruments).

STS conducted an exhaustive product evaluation that showed GE Analytical Instruments’ Sievers InnovOx TOC Analyzer to be an innovative and cost-effective instrument, capable of effectively dealing with a broad selection of sample types and supported by a strong technical and engineering team. By using an innovative and ultra-efficient supercritical water oxidation technique, the Sievers InnovOx can run hundreds of environmental samples continuously with no recalibration, and minimal system maintenance and spare parts.

Phillip Clark, Principal Scientist for STS, commented, “As a contract laboratory we can receive a wide variety of samples, but the InnovOx just seems to cope with practically anything.” After purchasing the instruments STS applied for UKAS accreditation of the Sievers InnovOx for drinking water and wastewater.

The Accreditation Process and Regulatory Criteria To gain UKAS accreditation and to comply with both the Environment Agency requirements for waste waters and the Drinking Water Inspectorate requirements for drinking waters, specific rigorous testing protocols must be followed demonstrating the robustness of any analytical technique. STS tested the InnovOx over 11 days with multiple samples, standards, blanks, and spiked matrix waters, followed by statistical processing of the data generating a method performance summary. The generation of these summaries is strictly defined so that everybody undertaking waste water or drinking water analysis has derived the method performance in exactly the same manner. Figure 1 and 2 show the accredited summaries STS generated.


Since purchasing the instruments, STS has successfully validated the Sievers InnovOx TOC Analyzers to the requirements of the Environment Agency’s MCerts scheme for waste water analysis and the Government’s Drinking Water Inspectorate requirements for drinking water analysis. STS has also been granted United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) accreditation for the Sievers InnovOx for both of these applications.

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