Water Reclamation Laboratory

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3 different inside views of Water Reclamation Laboratory

The Collier County Water Reclamation Laboratory performs Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permit required and process control analyses for the Wastewater Division. The Laboratory is certified through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) in accordance with the standards of The NELAC Institute (TNI). The NELAC Institute.  The Florida Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories (FDOH) administers the TNI environmental laboratory certification program for the state of Florida.  The Laboratory began operating in 1991; in 2000, it was the first laboratory in Collier County to become certified under NELAP. 

The Laboratory and its reputation have been built on the professionalism of its employees.  Laboratory personnel are experienced in a wide range of sampling and analytical methods and are required to maintain a wastewater operator license issued by FDEP or possess a degree in biology, chemistry or environmental studies. The dedicated team continually educate themselves through training offered in-house or by the FDOH, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), TNI, and other associations. Additionally, Laboratory staff must successfully participate in two rounds of proficiency testing annually.

Maintaining a 7-day per week schedule, the Laboratory serves four county water reclamation facilities with a combined treatment capacity of 42.35 million gallons per day. Under the regulations administered by FDEP permits, the Laboratory performs compliance required analyses and process control analyses. Compliance monitoring ensures that the applicable analytical data quality objectives and reporting criteria are met, while process control data enables the facilities to confirm that each stage of the treatment process is operating properly and efficiently. The facilities can then make operational adjustments as necessary to maintain compliance.  

Currently, the laboratory provides analyses under the following permits:

  1. The North County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Operating Permit
  2. The North County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Deep Injection Well Permit
  3. The South County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Operating Permit
  4. Two South County Water Reclamation Facility FDEP Deep Injection Well Permits
  5. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery FDEP Operating Permit
  6. The Aquifer Storage and Recovery SFWMD Consumptive Use Permit
  7. The Supplemental Irrigation Wellfields’ SFWMD Consumptive Use Permit
  8. The Orange Tree Wastewater Treatment Plant FDEP Operating Permit
  9. The Golden Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant FDEP Operating Permit
  10. The Golden Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant FDEP Deep Injection Well Permit

Laboratory personnel must be knowledgeable in both FDEP field sampling and laboratory protocol. They are responsible for sample collection at groundwater monitoring, deep injection, aquifer storage and recovery, and supplemental irrigation wells.

On staff are two chemists and three laboratory technicians that conduct over 50,000 analyses annually. These analyses are conducted on permit required compliance, process control and quality control samples. Analyses performed in house by the Laboratory include: 

  • Microbiological: Thermotolerant (fecal) coliform, Heterotrophic Plate Count 
        • Demands: Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand 
        • Minerals: Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Specific Conductance 
        • Nutrients: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate 
        • Residue: Non-filterable Residue (Total Suspended Solids), Volatile Suspended Solids 
        • Field Analyses: pH, Conductivity, Turbidity, Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, ORP

To contact the Environmental Compliance Section directly please call (239) 252-6886.

Related Links:

Florida Society of Environmental Analysts