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Drinking Water Lab Certification

  • Certification Officer - SDWA Chemistry
  • phone: 907-375-8200   fax: 907-929-7335
  • Certification Officer - SDWA Microbiology
  • phone: 907-375-8200   fax: 907-929-7335

how to apply for drinking water certification

Certification Process

The Alaska Drinking Water Laboratory Certification Program (LCP) is using a new (April 2019) web-based certification platform, hosted by Qualtrax, to manage all Drinking Water Laboratory applications, audits, and other LCP activities.

Each laboratory needs to have a login and password. Laboratories certified for FY2019 have been contacted and set up. New laboratories, please contact the LCP at

This single login to the Alaska Laboratory Certification Program portal allows labs to apply for certification, view their certification documents, and submit their certification documentation online. Microbiology and Chemistry applications are separate workflows, but use the laboratory’s single login.

Certification Year 2020 renewals and initial applications are being processed using the new system, and are still due by May 30, 2019.

  • Certification year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Renewal application packets are due by 30 May.
  • There are two types of certification:
    • Direct Certification, which requires an onsite inspection.
    • Reciprocity, which recognizes but independently evaluates drinking water certifications granted by other states or agencies.
  • Laboratory onsite audits are required at least every three years, whether they are performed by ADEC, a third party (for reciprocity), or another certifying agency (for reciprocity).
  • Completed application packets do not automatically guarantee certification for drinking water analysis. This department will determine the certification status of a laboratory after final review of all submitted information. Following review, a State of Alaska Certificate along with the Scope of Accreditation will be issued identifying the status of approved methods/analytes.

Application Timeline

  • New applications can be submitted at any time.
  • Renewal applications and fees are due and must be paid and complete no later than May 30th of each fiscal year. Invoices are generated with the Request Methods step of the application, and emailed separately to the labs. All fees are due before application review can begin.
  • If the online application is not complete and/or applicable fees are not submitted by May 30th, the laboratory will not be recertified on July 1st. Processing of applications received after May 30th will be prioritized based on date of receipt and may take up to 30 days to process.

Application Packet Documents

The following supporting documents are required annually for certification:

  1. A list of the drinking water methods which the laboratory is requesting.
  2. Certification Fees Paid in Full: credit card, check, or money order (See Fee Calculations and Fees Based on Areas of Certification, below).
  3. (For out-of-state/reciprocity labs only): Successfully completed initial on-site audit or most recent on-site inspection report. All drinking water methods requested by the laboratory must be covered in the audit. In-state labs already have their audit reports on file.
  4. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each method requested.
  5. Complete Personnel Status information for all current and new analysts and supervisors, including:
    1. Degree/Diploma held,
    2. Hire Date,
    3. Years of drinking water experience,
    4. Specific methods for which each analyst is requesting qualification,
    5. Most recent proficiency test (PT) performed for each method
    6. (Chemistry methods) Copies of Initial Demonstrations of Competency (IDCs), which conform to the individual method requirements, and
    7. Copies of training documentation required by The Manual for the Certification of Laboratories Analyzing Drinking Water, 5th Edition, January 2005 EPA 815-R-05-004.
  6. Laboratory Quality Assurance Plan (QAP):
    1. All laboratories must submit a current written Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) on an annual basis following the guidelines established in Chapter III, Section 11 of The Manual for the Certification of Laboratories Analyzing Drinking Water, 5th Edition, January 2005 EPA 815-R-05-004.
    2. Microbiology: If the lab is analyzing compliance samples for LT2, applicable components of the Microbial Laboratory Guidance Manual for the Final Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, February 2006 EPA 815-R06-006 must be included.
    3. Chemistry: The QAP must additionally contain the minimum elements from the EPA Guidance on Preparation of Laboratory Quality Assurance Plans, Revision 1. October 9, 1992 (EPA 910/0-92-032).
  7. Chemistry only: Annual method detection limits (MDL) calculations. These may be validated (MDLv) for consistently held conditions, or initial (MDLi) studies in the event of significant instrument maintenance, as required by Appendix B of 40 CFR 136, Revision 2.
  8. Current Proficiency Test (PT) for the methods requested:
    1. An approved PT provider must be used.
    2. Chemistry: The certified laboratory must successfully analyze water supply (WS) performance testing samples annually for each certified parameter by each method.
    3. Microbiology: The certified laboratory must successfully analyze water supply (WS) performance testing samples annually for each certified parameter by each method.
    4. A recent/current PT (for renewal) is one where the study close date is less than twelve months old by the May 30th deadline.
    5. Official PT results should be sent directly from the vendor to the Laboratory Certification Program

Certification Fees

  • A "Base Fee" is due at the time of application: $500 for in state Chemistry, $475 for reciprocity Chemistry, and $150 for any Microbiology laboratories.
  • A "Method Fee" is calculated for each test or method requested on your application (See list of fees below). It is also due at the time of application.
  • A laboratory desiring to add one or more tests or methods within an Area of Certification (AOC) to its current certification must submit an amendment application form with appropriate fees; a site visit and PT evaluation must take place as described above. Please contact the LCP at to initiate an amended application.
  • Invoices are generated with the Request Methods step of the application, and emailed separately to the labs. All fees are due once the application documents are submitted, and before application review can begin.
  • Fee payment does not assure certification.
  • All fees are nonrefundable regardless of acceptance or rejection of a laboratory's application.

fees based on areas of certification

  • Micro I: Enzyme Substrate (ES) Methods for multiple analytes: ($126 per method).
  • Micro II: Multiple Tube Fermentation (MTF) including confirmation test methods and Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC Pour Plate) Methods: ($410 per method).
  • Micro III: Membrane Filtration (MF), including confirmation test methods: ($441 per method).
  • Chemistry I: Single Analyte methods: consisting of methods using ion-selective electrode, nephelometry, or spectrophotometery. Analytes include nitrate, nitrite, o-phosphate, alkalinity, pH, odor, color, conductivity, EDTA (calcium), turbidity, hardness, chloride, fluoride, cyanide, sulfate, total dissolved solids, and foaming agents. Also consists of radiochemistry methods, including EPA 900 series and liquid scintillation counting: ($284 per method).
  • Chemistry II: Inorganic Methods: consisting of analysis of inorganic chemicals, including trace metals and inorganic non-metals, using ion chromatography, atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma/mass spectroscopy, including analysis for uranium by EPA 200.8, inductively coupled plasma/non-mass spectroscopy, hydride atomic absorption, and cold vapor atomic absorption: ($441 per method).
  • Chemistry III: Organic Methods: consisting of organic chemicals analysis by methods using gas chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatography or gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy, including EPA 500 series, EPA 1613, SM 6251B, SM 6610, and SM 6651: ($788 per method).
  • Chemistry IV: Toxic Chemical Elements methods by TEM ($1,040 per method).

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