The Delaware Environmental Laboratory is a full-service lab that tests and assesses water, air, soil, hazardous materials, and biological samples. The lab helps monitor the water quality and biological health of Delaware’s surface waters.
Sergio Huerta, M.D.
The Lab is a full service environmental laboratory for the State of Delaware. Its purpose is to be a politically neutral, cost-effective, market-driven organization that provides the highest value and highest quality environmental testing, monitoring, assessment, and information services to benefit both citizens and the natural environment. To this end, the Lab operates in a flexible, innovative, manner that is responsive to the needs and expectations of individuals and of government programs (Federal and State).
DNREC’s Environmental Laboratory includes more than 30 professionals in the fields of chemistry and biology who process tests involving general organic and inorganic chemistry (nutrients and basic parameters), metals and toxics, advanced organic chemistry (PCBs, etc.), bacteriology, biology, and DNA.
They are supported by people with experience in management and supervision, quality control and quality assurance, accounting, data operations and statistics, reporting, clerical functions, field services, warehousing materials and supplies, and glassware management.
Water suppliers that serve the same people year-round are required to send their customers an annual water quality report. For private well owners, the Delaware Public Health Laboratory provides drinking water testing, for a small fee.
The Lab supports DNREC’s Divisions of Water, Watershed Stewardship, Waste and Hazardous Substances, and Air Quality. It works closely with the DNREC Site Investigation and Restoration Section (SIRS); and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). It works on issues and projects related to the Hazardous Site Cleanup Act (HSCA, Superfund, and Brownfields), the Clean Water Act (monitoring and assessment, water quality reports and water quality regulations), the Clean Air Act, and food safety, particularly fish and shellfish contamination.
The Environmental Lab began in 1953 as a small, one-room operation in the basement of the Jesse S. Cooper Building. Today, it has grown to be a full-service laboratory that covers more than 36,000 square feet in the Richardson and Robbins Building and performs more than 20,000 tests per year.