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3 Common Chemical Analysis Tests


While the effects of improper water testing may have received the most media attention this year, the lack of other kinds of testing may also be a contributing factor to numerous environmental and regulatory compliance issues.

Water contamination problems have continuously dominated headlines in cities like Flint and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition, this year Florida battled its worst red tide bloom in history, leading some experts to point at industrial and agricultural water runoff as the cause.

Such disasters illustrate the importance of testing and chemical analysis for industrial processes and manufacturing facilities. Here are the benefits of three common chemical analysis tests.

1. Wastewater testing

Wastewater testing and chemical analysis are vital for cities and municipalities to stay in compliance with environmental standards. Municipalities that are not in compliance with the Clean Water Act can face serious fines and penalties.

Wastewater can be tested for numerous particulates including solids, metals, and biological matter. Proper testing can help curb environmental damage and ensure adherence to local and federal standards.

CTL Engineering can help identify sources of contaminants in wastewater that are often overlooked. For example, stormwater from a metal roof can drain into nearby water sources such as rivers, lakes, and streams. As a result, the stormwater may need to be tested for zinc, copper, and lead.

CTL’s experts are frequently called on to test for contamination in wastewater, storm water, and stream water. These analyses include testing for:

  • inorganic materials such as nitrate, ammonia, fluoride, mercury, and cyanide.
  • metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and chromium.
  • organic materials such as oil, grease, pesticides, herbicides, fuels, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


2. Soil testing

Soil testing is another common chemical analysis test conducted most frequently in real estate transactions. Past uses of land must be considered before purchasing a piece of property, which often prompts would-be property buyers to commission a soil test or even an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). Illegal contaminants may remain in the soil from previous use of the property, and responsibility for the cleanup of any contaminants belongs to the current owner of the property, regardless of whether it was that person’s business that contaminated it.

Soil testing analysis is composed of soil characterization to indicate the presence of toxic, heavy metals, biological and radioactive waste materials.

If an urban site has any history of industrial manufacturing, soil testing is critical. Chemicals, paint, and cleaning supplies are considered hazardous waste and their presence can result in noncompliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

For example, property on which a gas station previously resided may contain contaminated soil and groundwater due to underground storage tanks (that may or may not still be) on the property. A site that once housed a dry cleaning business may also have contaminated soil due to chemicals including carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene (TCE), and perchloroethylene (PCE), even if those chemicals are not in use on the site currently.

3. Industrial waste testing

Another common test landowners commission a chemistry lab for is industrial waste analysis. CTL helps businesses stay safe and in compliance by analyzing materials and industrial wastewater that enter a landfill.

Industrial waste contaminants include oil or chemical spills, roads and parking lot construction, and sewage systems. Even seemingly innocuous materials such as dirt, gravel, or wood can be sources of industrial contamination.

Other high-quality analytical chemistry lab services

CTL Engineering is a leader in analytical chemistry lab services. We have been providing high-quality testing services for decades. In addition to wastewater, soil, and industrial waste testing, some of our other analytical services include:

MSDS Preparation: We assist in the preparation of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which include information about flashpoints, toxicity, storage information, and guidelines for leaks or spills of chemical substances.

Custom Testing: Because of the scope of CTL’s knowledge and expertise, we can create a custom series of tests. This testing includes a site visit, analysis of the site’s history, and a protocol of tests that may be performed on-site or in our laboratory.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits: The NPDES regulates the release of pollutants into any U.S. waterway or body of water. Any such discharge is illegal unless authorized by an NPDES permit, which specifies the type and amount of waste that can be permissibly released into the water.

CTL’s environmental scientists keep you up to date on environmental regulations

It is up to municipalities and businesses to ensure they follow environmental regulations. CTL works to help companies follow not only EPA regulations, but also guidelines from the following organizations:

  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
  • American Water Works Association (AWWA)
  • Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
  • S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • S. Military


Broad expertise in providing high-quality testing and customer service

Our combination of regulatory expertise, testing capabilities, and excellent customer service has positioned CTL as a leader in laboratory and on-site testing.

Remember, knowledge of chemical hazards in your organization is critical to maintaining safety and ensuring compliance with state, federal, and local regulations. Proper chemical testing will help avoid potential litigation, damage to your company’s reputation, and regulatory fines. Call us today to discuss what kind of testing would be best suited for your organization.

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