Introducing our 2024/25 Proficiency Tests

Water & Environmental Chemistry Programme

Modern analytical techniques are allowing us to detect chemicals in water at ever decreasing concentrations

This in turn is changing our understanding of the pollutants that may be present in the environment, which can consequently be an issue for our drinking water. Increasing legislation controlling permitted levels of agricultural contaminants such as fertiliser run-off and over-sprayed herbicides and pesticides means it has never been so important to ensure laboratory analysis of these potentially harmful substances is as accurate as possible. Typically present at low concentrations, they can still impact on the ecosystem and cause damage.

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The Fapas® Water and Environmental Chemistry programme assesses the performance of laboratories analysing different types of water

Our range of proficiency testing materials provide the opportunity to monitor laboratory quality on a global scale, covering a wide range of water types including, drinking, waste, high salinity, and surface waters, and is complemented by specific materials for emergency chemical contamination, taste and odour chemical identification, and soil chemistry.

The unique emergency contamination materials are designed to test a laboratory’s response where an unknown chemical is believed to have entered the water supply, either due to an environmental event, accidental addition, or deliberate criminal act. Participants must identify a completely unknown chemical, in a reduced timescale of only 6 days. A follow-up open meeting where participants freely discuss the test ensures maximum learning from the event, and a report of this meeting is provided to all participants. The emergency event is run twice a year ensuring the laboratory emergency procedures are regularly tested and can be updated and improved as required, away from the pressure of a real emergency.

Featured Water & Environmental Tests

Our water and environmental chemistry tests cover a wide range of matrices and analytes, including heavy metals, radioactivity, agricultural chemicals, landfill runoff, disinfectants, and salinity. We also offer taste & odour chemical identification for drinking water, and a drinking water emergency scenario programme to tests the capabilities of a laboratory to analyse a completely unknown chemically contaminated drinking water sample on an emergency, short-term, rapid-screening basis.

Watch our explanation of the general principles of proficiency testing

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