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Laboratory Certification Program

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EPA’s Office of Water implements the Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program in partnership with EPA Regions and States. Laboratories must be certified by EPA or the State to analyze drinking water samples for compliance monitoring. Certified laboratories must successfully analyze proficiency testing samples annually, use approved methods, and successfully pass periodic on-site audits. EPA recommends that consumers use State certified laboratories for water testing.

State Certification Programs

Contact your State Certification Program for a list of certified laboratories and to answer technical questions. Questions may also be directed to the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.


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Laboratory Certification Manual

The Manual describes the Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program implementation procedures, laboratory procedures, and technical criteria laboratories must meet to analyze drinking water compliance samples.


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Certification Officer Training

EPA conducts chemistry and microbiology Certification Officer Training courses.

Training attendees:


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Proficiency Testing Studies

Certified laboratories must successfully analyze proficiency testing (PT) samples annually for each method that they desire certification.

State Certification Programs may:

Many States use PT providers accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The NELAC Institute (TNI) selected A2LA as the PT Oversight Body and PT Accreditation Provider. Exit EPA Disclaimer


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Other EPA Laboratory Approval

EPA implements laboratory approval programs for contaminants not covered under State certification programs. This includes the program for Cryptosporidium monitoring under the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule and the program for analyses under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule – Cycle 2.

Laboratories that analyze source water samples for Cryptosporidium under the Safe Drinking Water Act must be approved by EPA.

Laboratories that analyze samples for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule – Cycle 2 must be approved by EPA.


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Laboratory Certification Bulletins

EPA publishes Laboratory Certification (LabCert) Bulletins periodically. The bulletins contain information of interest to drinking water laboratories and drinking water laboratory certification officers.

Disclaimer: The information contained in these bulletins may be dated and was current at the time of publication. Please contact your State Certification Programs to answer technical questions. Questions may also be directed to the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

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Laboratory Fraud

EPA recommends that state laboratory certification programs and certified labs develop fraud detection programs to ensure that the public can have confidence in drinking water analytical results.

If you suspect fraudulent activity related to drinking water analysis, notify:

If the suspected fraud involves EPA staff, programs or contracts, contact EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

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