Keene's laboratory capabilities are unique among municipal labs. Our nationally accredited laboratory has evolved into a support group for several of the divisions in Public Works. We are certified for testing both drinking water and wastewater by the State of New Hampshire -- and have been recognized as leaders in the development quality control and quality assurance for the municipal laboratory.
Located at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, behind the Airport in Swanzey, the lab is organized into two main areas. The main laboratory area is where most of the wet chemistry takes place. Here a lab tech, is setting up a routine wastewater test, BOD. Other tests performed in this area include microbiology, ammonia, and pH.
The other area is where samples are tested for the presence of metals like cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc. This room is called "the clean room". It has minimal amounts of bare metal which would contaminate samples. The air is cleaned by a high efficiency particle attenuation (HEPA) filter -- it keeps the room dust and particulate free. By restricting access to this room, we have succeeded in removing sources of sample contamination. The instrument shown here, the AA (atomic absorption spectrophotometer) can measure minute quantities of pollutants, less than one part per billion, in some cases.