DESC Water Chemistry Laboratory

The Water Chemistry Laboratory at DESC provides laboratory support and expertise in soft water, low nutrient analyses for programs both within the Ministry of the Environment and with our partners. Aquatic samples may find their origin in lakes, streams, precipitation and ground water systems.

The data generated by the lab are of the highest quality and must be technically valid. All data produced at Dorset are entered into the Ministry of the Environment's Laboratory Information Management System and must meet MOE Laboratory Services Branch requirements for data quality and approvals. These data are also stored in the Dorset Oracle database.

The User Manual for the Submission of Water Samples to the Dorset Lab should be consulted by partners before collecting or submitting any samples to the laboratory.

 

Analytical Products

Parameter

Technique

Analytical Range

pH

pH meter

4-10

Alkalinity

Titrimetric analysis

-5 – 200 mg/L as Ca

Colour

Automated colourimetry – TCU

0-1000 TCU

Conductivity @25 °C

Automated flow cell

0.1-1000 µS/cm

Ammonia

Colourimetry

10-1000 µg/L as N

Nitrate + Nitrite

Colourimetry

10-1000 µg/L as N

Dissolved Organic Carbon

Colourimetry

0.25-20 mg/L as C

Silica

Colourimetry

0.1-10 mg/L as Si

Total Phosphorus

Colourimetry

0.2-50 µg/L as P

Total Inorganic Carbon

Total Carbon Analyzer

0.1-50 mg/L as C

Chloride

Ion Chromatograph

0.05-110 mg/L as Cl

Sulphate

Ion Chromatograph

0.05-110 mg/L as SO4

Calcium

Flame Atomic Absorption

0.1-8 mg/L as Ca

Magnesium

Flame Atomic Absorption

0.025-2 mg/L as Mg

Sodium

Flame Atomic Absorption

0.025-4 mg/L as Na

Potassium

Flame Atomic Absorption

0.025-1 mg/L as K

Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen

Colourimetry

50-1000 µg/L as N

Metals and chlorophyll samples can also be submitted to the lab, but these are analysed by the MOE Laboratory Services Branch in Toronto.