In-House Water Testing Instrumentation
The Regional Water Authority Laboratory is a full-service laboratory and maintains state of the art instrumentation inclusive of several units that are liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry, gas chromatography with mass spectrometry, inductive coupled plasma, and atomic absorption.
All laboratory instrumentation is maintained following procedures outlined by the instrument manufacturers. Instrument maintenance logbooks are kept with the instrument and updated by the operators whenever any maintenance is performed. In addition, service contracts are maintained for all instrumentation to ensure minimal loss in production time.
The instrument operator or instrument service provider handles routine instrument preventive maintenance. The type and frequency of preventive maintenance required are dependent on the instrumentation.
Preventive maintenance such as lubrication, source cleaning, and detector cleaning, is performed according to the procedures and timeline described in the manufacturer’s instrument manual. Precision and accuracy data are examined for trends and excursions beyond control limits to determine evidence of instrument malfunction.
Maintenance is performed when an instrument begins to degrade as evidenced by a number of things such as:
- The degradation of peak resolution
- A shift in calibration curve
- Decreased ion sensitivity
- Or failure to meet one or another of the quality control criteria
Maintenance Logging and Updating
Instrument maintenance logbooks are maintained in the laboratory at all times. The logbook contains a complete history of past maintenance, both routine and non-routine. The nature of work performed, the date and the signature of the person who performed the work are recorded in the logbook.
Preventive maintenance is scheduled according to each manufacturer’s recommendation. Keeping adequate supplies of all expendable items minimizes instrument downtime, where expendable means an expected lifetime of less than one year.