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Laboratory to temporarily stop testing for nitrate in water after malfunction of new equipment

  • 12/18/2018 8:37:00 AM
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STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Mangold Environmental Testing (MET), in Storm Lake, has agreed to temporarily stop testing drinking water samples for nitrate, effective December 14, 2018, due to potentially inaccurate sample results. Forty-three public water supplies have been identified as potentially having inaccurate nitrate sampling results. MET has made arrangements to have nitrate tests performed by another certified laboratory.

The problem began when MET installed new equipment on October 2, 2018. Laboratories are required to notify the DNR within 15 days when new equipment is placed into service. MET did not notify DNR of the change until December 5, 2018.  DNR inspected the laboratory on December 7, 2018, and asked MET to temporarily stop analyzing drinking water samples for nitrate.

DNR is working with MET to identify the cause of the problems and take steps to correct them. DNR and MET will each notify affected public water supplies by letter. At this time, DNR has no information suggesting any public water supply had unsafe nitrate levels in its drinking water.

DNR will also examine other data that MET has analyzed using this equipment to determine if any other sample results are incorrect.

MET has been cooperative during this investigation. DNR and MET are working together to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. DNR continues to investigate this incident and will determine if any enforcement actions are necessary.

Public Water Supply Operators: Please contact your regional field office if you have questions.