A LIMS Solution for Water and Wastewater
Our LIMS for water and environmental labs ensures accurate, timely test results that are essential to maintaining environmental standards for water and wastewater treatment, and is the foundation for meeting performance standards required by the EPA and other regulatory agencies.
Because secure reporting is required for regulatory compliance and documentation, a Thermo Scientific* LIMS can generate data for public health and environmental management decision making. Water boards must follow strict testing regulations, where they must check samples from sites such as water treatment plants, storage reservoirs, supply areas as well as customer taps, and perform various analyses with set frequencies throughout the year. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution, and licenses being revoked. Creating a compliant sampling plan is only the first part. Facilities must ensure that all the samples that have been scheduled are taken and all testing has been performed. A properly implemented LIMS is the foundation for meeting analytical testing performance standards required by the EPA and other regulatory agencies. Find out how our LIMS for water and wastewater labs can help you meet the compliance requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Water and Wastewater facilities are responsible for protecting public health by ensuring that standards of sewage and drinking water treatment meet regulatory guidelines. To this end these types of facilities mandate 24-hour laboratory services that process high volumes throughput that incorporate compliant sampling plans and data security to ensure the safety of all water supplies. All this testing is to ensure the drinking water supplied to the population is of a suitable quality, so every test must ensure that the results are within certain concentration limits. Non-conformance may need to be reported, and oftentimes results in corrective action being taken by the water authority. This increases the complexity of the sampling plan for a certain time period, by requiring additional testing at the site that had the non-conformity.
Some of the core functions of a water and wastewater LIMS application include:
- Scheduling of sample collection from predefined or ad-hoc locations
- Data capture of lab testing results either manually or automatically from instruments
- Data analysis, structuring and assurance that samples are within concentration limits (e.g., adjusting for significant digits, limit checking and logging)
- Capabilities to handle non-conformities (e.g., extend scheduling and reporting)
- Data reporting in user or regulatory defined formats
- Lab management functionality (e.g., sample/bottle tracking and workload assignments)
- System management functionality (e.g., data audit trails and archiving)
A LIMS can help to:
- Reduce operating costs and operational efficiencies
- Improve reporting capabilities through Business Objects
- Access information from a variety of sources and provide a clear picture of the status of a user’s samples such as: water cycle, water resources, drinking water, sewage treatment, trade effluent, environment agency data, analytical quality control (AQC), sample data and sampling program
- Allow better utilization of staff, reduced transcription errors and improved turnaround time
- Allow for rapid extraction of large datasets, for statistical or other analysis
- Avoid mix-ups with samples and/or results
- Respond to problems in an efficient and timely manner
Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS* addresses the demands of Water and Wastewater laboratories with its rich functionality and flexible framework. SampleManager LIMS is a critical tool in these facilities and allows managers to make informed decisions to improve throughput, resolve environmental issues/risks faster, all while enabling organizations to comply with strict regulatory guidelines.
SampleManager LIMS provides:
Improved Turnaround Time and Work in Progress
One of the most critical parameters in many water and wastewater labs is turnaround time since samples are time-sensitive, and the accuracy of the result can be impacted if holding times are exceeded. By automating data entry tasks and utilizing pre-defined templates for sample analysis and entry, routine sample lists can be created and in seconds. In addition, the creation of annual sampling plans to meet complex regulatory rules can be set up using SampleManager LIMS . SampleManager helps labs manage this process by keeping check on the samples taken against the plan, and allowing samples to be rescheduled within a certain time window to ensure they remain compliant with regulations. Non-conformities can be easily handled within the context of the sampling plan, feeding back information that must be taken into account when discrepancies occur.
Many labs include sample turnaround statistics in their month-end reports. A suitable LIMS allows managers to generate these reports simply and quickly, and to view trends over longer periods. Furthermore, the LIMS can allow several filtering and grouping options, so that managers can identify problems within particular areas, such as sample preparation, or with certain analytical instruments and methods that may not be performing optimally. This type of information is invaluable and allows managers to make informed decisions to improve the efficiency of resource allocation.
For most labs that analyze water and wastewater samples, accreditation is mandatory for regulatory agencies, however tougher standards are making it increasingly difficult to meet accreditation or certification guidelines. SampleManager LIMS is designed to conform to state or national accreditation standards such as ISO 17025, and allows lab managers and QA officers to concentrate on other areas, knowing that the data management requirements such as audit trails, electronic signatures and data integrity are fully met within the LIMS.
Data Analysis and Quality Control
With a set of built-in QC/QA tools, managers can extract datasets from amongst millions of records, and analyze those datasets with unparalleled speed. Analysts can review quality control charts before submitting results for approval, QA officers and managers can examine long-term trends and finally, it provides auditors with documentary evidence that the laboratory is in control.
Real-Time Data Access
By providing water and wastewater facilities with up-to-the minute analytical data, SampleManager LIMS allows these facilities to flag and adjust sampling plans in a timely manner, and to respond to non-conformities with the minimum of delay. Whether it is the nitrate levels in reservoirs, PCBs in wastewater, or fluoride in drinking water, operations need this vital information as soon as possible.