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Analytical Laboratory
The main analytical laboratory and corporate offices are located in West Columbia, SC near the intersection of Interstates 26 and 77 in a business park. This is approximately 5 miles west of downtown Columbia and approximately 8 miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The 15,000 square foot building was designed and constructed in 1992, and offers many state-of-the- art technological features.

The building's unique computer controlled closed system (chiller/boiler) seven-module cooling and heating system maintains negative, atmospheric, or positive pressure in seven general work areas. This system has been balanced with the laboratory's fume hoods and outside air to provide the appropriate pressure to each work area.

The volatile organic analyses area operates under positive pressure to prevent the influx of airborne contamination. This spacious laboratory is located in the opposite corner of the building from the extractions laboratory.

The semivolatile organics analyses area operates under negative pressure. A hydrogen and zero-air generator supply uninterrupted high purity gases to the GCs.

The organic extractions area operates under negative pressure to prevent the migration of airborne contamination into other areas. A point of use solvent delivery system provides methylene chloride dispensing. This system eliminates the disposal of over 700 glass bottles and packaging materials per year, reduces labor costs, and significantly reduces our analysts exposure to methylene chloride vapors. A 66-station continuous liquid-liquid extraction system is used for most aqueous samples.

The metals analysis area operates under positive pressure. A 900-gallon liquid argon tank provides an uninterrupted supply of argon for the instrumentation. The metals preparation area is equipped with clean room polypropylene casework and an 8-foot polypropylene hood. Digestions are performed in hot blocks using disposable digestion tubes. The metals preparation lab as well as the metals analysis labs have clean room ceilings.

The inorganic non-metals area operates under atmospheric to negative pressures. This area consists of 4 rooms. The largest room contains all the instrumentation. The other 3 rooms are used for compatible preparations or analyses. All digestions and distillations are performed using midi-systems.

Other facility features include secure keypad entry into building, data review/processing areas separate from the preparation and analysis laboratories, an efficient sample receiving area, three walk-in coolers for proper sample storage, and a centralized and secure LIMS computer area.
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