The Safety of Drinking Water Using ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited Testing and Sampling

Watch ANAB’s free webinar on Sampling and Testing of Drinking Water on September 22 to learn more about ISO/IEC 17025 in the environmental area and how accredited testing provides valid results, accurate and impartial reporting, and confidence in the sampling and testing performed.

The water quality problem in Flint, MI, is just one of many incidents reported about incorrect data and information for sampling and testing found in communities across the United States. The problem in Flint was a sample collection and management problem. The EPA Inspector General has reported that misreporting of sample collection and test data are concerns in many drinking water quality programs.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that testing of drinking water be performed by a state certified laboratory. Accreditation is accepted by many localities as comparable to the certification program required by the SDWA.

Accreditation is the process of assessing a laboratory on its competency to perform drinking water testing. It requires the laboratory to participate in proficiency testing and other activities to ensure the validity of results. Accreditation also requires the laboratory to act impartially and report results accurately. Laboratories accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 demonstrate competence for the test methods in their scope of accreditation.

Sampling and testing of drinking water and other environmental media must be performed by a competent organization. The SDWA program does not require sampling and field testing to be from a certified laboratory. Having an accredited laboratory perform sampling and testing provides assurance that laboratory is competent and the data and information reported is objective, impartial, and without undue client or management pressure.

Presenter: Marlene Moore of Advanced Systems, Inc.

Moore has managed and performed work for full-service sampling and testing laboratories. She majored in chemistry at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, and has attended and provided a variety of management, business, and technical training courses.

Moore has worked and managed sampling and testing laboratories for more than 20 years. Current work includes auditing to client requirements, assessing laboratory accreditation programs to ISO/IEC 17025, and auditing to ISO/IEC 17065 for conformity assessment certification programs. She also provides consulting and auditing, and does training on quality management for organizational and project management relative to sampling and testing and data collection activities of environmental, chemical, and biological applications.