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Revisions to New Jersey 48 Hour Rapid Gross Alpha Testing
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has made revisions to the New Jersey 48 Hour Rapid Gross Alpha method, ECLS-R-GA, Rev. 8.  All drinking water laboratories were notified by a letter dated September 26, 2014.  View the contents of the letterView a copy of the method, ECLS-R-GA, Rev. 8.   

Laboratories are required to implement the changes as soon as possible and no later than January 1, 2015.  Laboratories shall forward to the OQA a revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and data generated using the revised criteria as outlined in the letter.  Upon receipt of acceptable documentation, the OQA will issue an updated Annual Certified Parameter List (ACPL) for the laboratory that includes the method and revision number.  After January 1, 2015, the Department will not accept data from laboratories that did not implement the revisions and did not obtain an updated ACPL form the Department.

May 2013: New Methods Approved for use in Public Recreational Bathing Testing (N.J.A.C. 8:26, Subchapter 7)
N.J.A.C. 8:26 requires the use of a N.J.A.C. 7:18 certified laboratory for the analysis of samples such as swimming pools, wading pools, hot tubs and spas for total coliform and pseudomonas aeruginosa testing.  N.J.A.C. 8:26 regulations have traditionally detailed the microbiological methods approved for required testing.  The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) was petitioned by IDEXX Labs Inc. for the approval to use Colilert/Coliert-18® for total coliform testing and Pseudalert® for Pseudomonas aeruginosa testing.  On May 15, 2012, the NJDOH approved the use of Pseudalert® and this testing was added to the NJDEP-OQA’s scope of available laboratory certification at that time.  The approval for the use of Colilert/Colilert-18® was made effective by the NJDOH on April 9, 2013.  Laboratories must apply for and receive certification prior to the use of the methods and media.  The parameter codes to use when requesting the certification are: Pseudalert (WPP01.11010) and Colilert/Colilert-18 (WPP01.04010).  Total coliform and Pseudomonas aeruginosa results are to be reported as presence-absence in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 8:26-7.5(b) and 7.11(b) respectively. A link to the waiver approval for Pseudalert from the IDEXX website can be found at: www.idexx.com/resource-library/water/water-reg-article5CZ.pdf.  The waiver approval document for the use of Colilert/Coliert-18 will be available on the IDEXX website soon.  Contact Debra Waller at the NJDEP-OQA (debra.waller@dep.nj.gov) should you require any additional laboratory certification information about the approvals for the use of the methods.

November 2012: Hurricane Sandy Sample Analysis and Reporting Guidance for Laboratories
The NJDEP recognizes that laboratory facilities may have experienced loss of power or flooding conditions that may have affected the preservation, holding time and/or method testing requirements (i.e. incubation temperatures, oven temperatures, etc.)  for samples at the laboratory at the time of the storm.  Sample collection activities may have also been disrupted or cancelled by the storm conditions.  Laboratories are encouraged to provide the details of the circumstances that the laboratory encountered during the affected time period in the form of a cover letter to its clients for their use.  If preservation, holding times or method testing requirements were affected due to the storm conditions the following procedures have been provided by the programs that use the data:

Site Remediation Program (SRP) Projects: Conduct the analysis and appropriately qualify all results:

  • The laboratory should contact their client (person responsible for conducting the remediation and/or the licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) overseeing the remediation) and inform them of the situation. The LSRP, using their professional judgment based on their knowledge of the remedial activities being conducted and site conditions, should make the determination whether or not to proceed with the analysis of the impacted samples. From the SRP perspective, exceedance of storage temperature is not an automatic rejection of sample results.
  • If it is determined to proceed with sample analysis, the laboratory needs to note the situation in the laboratory non-conformance summary section of the data deliverable package.
  • The LSRP, when submitting the remedial phase report associated with the impacted data, needs to note the situation with an explanation of data usability.

New Jersey National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NJ-NPDES) or for meeting permit requirement for Sludge Quality Assurance (SQAR): Do not conduct the analysis.  Permitted facilities will move forward to collect and meet all requirements for the month of November 2012:

  • The Monitoring Report Form (MRF) Manual was prepared to give direction for Reporting Invalid Test Results.  Although not every example of ‘invalid’ sample issues was mentioned in the manual, NJDEP has expanded on this topic in training sessions and phone inquiries over the years.
  • If a permittee calls the NJDEP and knows prior to having the laboratory conduct the analysis that the samples are invalid, they should be instructed to not waste resources for analyzing these samples.  Also, if sample analysis was underway prior to the storm (i.e. BOD samples set up on Day 1 with a loss of power on Days 2), results may be reported by the testing laboratory but must be appropriately qualified. Results reported with appropriate data qualifiers cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with any NJPDES or SQAR regulatory requirements.
  • The permittees should report CODE=E if all of the samples for that parameter for the month/monitoring period were in this situation as directed in the MRF Manual.
  • If only some of the samples for the month/monitoring period were in this situation, the permittee should only report on the MRF valid data for the month/monitoring period.  The number of samples actually tested is to be noted on the MRF (i.e. 3/month instead of the required 4/month).
  • The permittee must explain the situation on the MRF submittal form (or cover letter if necessary).  This explanation must include information regarding proof of power outage – such as HOTLINE notification, etc.  The MRF Manual can be found at the following link: www.nj.gov/dep/dwq/pdf/MRF_Manual.pdf

Drinking Water Testing: This information (in part) and guidance for non-community water systems for restoring wells that were flooded and/or damaged by Hurricane Sandy are available on the NJDEP’s Water Supply website at www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply:    
         

  • For samples that were prepared and were under analysis at the time of the storm, if the analysis was disrupted by the effects of the storm, then this data must be qualified as appropriate and cannot be used for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • The Bureau of Safe Drinking Water will not issue TCR monitoring and reporting (M&R) violations for October 2012 if you were unable to collect all routine TCR samples required by the end of October. However, you are expected to complete the collection of all November routine TCR samples by the end of November.
  • For those water systems that were unable to collect repeat TCR samples and, if applicable, Groundwater Rule samples within the required timeframes due to Hurricane Sandy, you must collect these repeat samples and well (raw) samples as soon as possible during November 2012, as a sampling event separate from the scheduled routine November TCR sampling.
  • Water systems on a quarterly TCR monitoring schedule, having had at least one total coliform-positive sample in September 2012, must collect their five routine TCR samples as soon as possible in November 2012 if Hurricane Sandy prevented their collection in October.
  • TCR and Groundwater Rule sample results must be submitted to the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water through E2. If your internet access (and your ability to report through E2) has been affected due to the hurricane, please notify the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at 609-292-5550 to inform us of those water systems for which TCR/GWR result submission may be late. (Please note that laboratories are still required to notify the bureau of E. coli-positive and fecal coliform-positive results within 24 hours or call the NJDEP Hotline at 877- 927-6337 after business hours.)

March 2012: USEPA Grants New Jersey Exemption From DMR-QA Submittal
On November 30, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Departments request to withdraw from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Discharge Monitoring Report Quality Assurance (DMR-QA) Program.  EPA granted approval of the withdrawal because the Departments state-wide laboratory certification program is an adequate surrogate for the DMR-QA Program.  The withdrawal is effective beginning in 2012 and pertains to an exemption for DMR-QA Study 32.  The OQA sent a letter to all laboratories on March 12, 2012 as notification of this change.  Please refer to the March 12, 2012 letter for additional information.

Guidance Documents
December 2011: Certification of Low Flow Parameters Guidance Document
View letter and guidance document

May 2011: Important Notice Regarding Application Process Policy
View more information

02/26/2007: pH Monitoring - A generic Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for pH Monitoring(PDF) has been developed by the OQA. The document provides an outline for businesses to follow when preparing an SOP to become certified.

08/28/2003: Continuous pH Monitoring – A generic Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Continuous pH Monitoring(PDF) has been developed by the OQA. Please see this link for direct and indirect calibration procedures(PDF).

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Last Updated: October 2, 2014