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Setting up a laboratory ab initio in a remote location

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For many years the US Environmental Protection Agency's National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio has operated a pilot plant approximately 5 kilometers from its main research facility. Originally this Test and Evaluation (T&E) facility was sited to be adjacent to the City of Cincinnati's wastewater treatment plant, so as to have a ready stream of material with which to study wastewater treatment processes. The T&E has had a laboratory capable of determining gross parameters typical of wastewater study (BOD5, TOC, TKN, solids, etc.) since its inception. However, research priorities change. The study of wastewater treatment has matured and other problems, such as remediation of contaminated soils, have arisen. The T&E is certainly a satisfactory building and so the pilot plant activities for these new projects were conducted there, regardless of its location now having become irrelevant. These new activities, however, do require far more sophisticated analytical methods and instrumentation than the old traditional chemistry that had been done at the T&E. We quickly discovered that transporting samples back to the main building in order to analyze them was not only inconvenient but fraught with problems. Losses in transportation could not only corrupt the integrity of the samples, putting analytical results in doubt but also could contaminate the environment. Therefore, it was decided to build a modern analytical laboratory at the T&E, such that the contractor personnel there could perform the analyses on-site. This poster will examine the problems that appeared in the construction of the laboratory and the solutions surmounting these problems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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