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WATER: How many tests in one year? Almost 200,000 help protect our lake.

West Virginia’s water-contamination saga is shining the spotlight on water quality, regulations, contaminants and public health.

Clean water is at the heart of our work, but our attention is commonly focused on the wastewater side of the water cycle. How do we monitor our treatment processes and the environment to make sure the water we’re releasing to Lake Erie is safe?

Tests. Lots and lots of tests. In 2013, our Analytical Services department—our biologists, chemists and laboratory analysts—conducted nearly 200,000 tests, averaging more than 530 separate tests every day. That includes tests conducted on more than 25,000 samples collected from streams, beaches, and our treatment plants.

Here’s a closer look at our lab stats from last year:

These tests are performed on samples collected from our three treatment plants, local beaches, and in the field. “This ensures that the best decisions are made with regards to plant operations and other projects,” said Supervising Chemist Cheryl Soltis-Muth.

She said these tests make sure all of our employees are “fully aware of the environmental impacts” of our work.

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