Frequently Asked Questions

My Nevada certificate and scope are expiring on July 31st, what do I do to continue being certified by the State of Nevada? 

You should receive a renewal application by email on May 1st. If you did not then email Michelle Nenzel for a renewal application. Please see Applying to our Program for more details.

I need to get my well water tested for a real estate transaction, do I need to use a certified lab?

Yes! According to NRS 445A.863, only laboratories that are certified by State of Nevada under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) are eligible to perform drinking water testing "required by a lender as a condition precedent to the transfer of real property." If you just want to know the quality of your water for your own information you do not have to use a certified lab though it is encouraged. Please see the pages "Get your Drinking Water Tested" and "Information for Consumers" for additional information. 

What is the difference between microbiological, chemical and radiochemical analyses? 

Microbiological testing is for the detection and identification of microorganisms that could adversely affect human health. Chemical testing is for the detection and quantification of numerous organic and inorganic chemical contaminants. Radiochemical testing is for the detection and quantification of contaminants that exhibit radiation. Combined, there are more than 100 chemical, radiochemical and microbiological contaminants regulated under federal, state and local laws. 

What is compliance monitoring? 

Compliance monitoring is how regulatory agencies ensure that industry and public water systems do not exceed the allowable limits for pollutants (contaminants) discharged into receiving waters or distributed to consumers as drinking water. Compliance monitoring is accomplished through the analysis of compliance samples at regular intervals. 

What should I have my water tested for? 

Drinking water compliance samples are analyzed for numerous contaminants regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the requirements for regulated contaminants, approved methodologies and frequency of analyses can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 40 Protection of Environment Part 141 – National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (40CFR141). Additional assistance with drinking water can be obtained from the USEPA sponsored Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Non-drinking water or "Clean Water" compliance samples are analyzed for numerous contaminants regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the requirements for regulated contaminants and approved methodologies can be found in 40CFRPart136. Frequency and type of analysis for contaminants regulated under the CWA are specified by the individual discharge permits. 

Non-potable water and solid-waste materials or “Hazardous Wastes” are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The law describes the waste management program mandated by Congress that gave EPA authority to develop the RCRA program. EPA regulations carry out the congressional intent by providing explicit, legally enforceable requirements for waste management. Frequency and type of analysis for contaminants regulated under RCRA are specified in 40CFRParts239-282. EPA guidance documents and policy directives clarify issues related to the implementation of the regulations. See more at Resources on Public Participation and the Hazardous Waste Permitting Process.

Non-compliance samples should be analyzed for specific contaminants depending upon the nature of the problem. For Drinking Water contact the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at 775-687-4650, for non-potable or Clean Water contact the Bureau of Water Pollution Control at 775-687-4670, and for solid and hazardous materials contact the Bureau of Corrective Actions at 775-687-9368.

These state agencies have professionals on staff who can assist you.

Can samples be collected in any container? 

No, certain analyses require special containers and preservatives. Most laboratories will provide the proper container, preservative(s) and sampling instructions. 

For questions not addressed here, contact the Laboratory Certification Program at 775-687-9311 and you will be directed to a NDEP Laboratory Certification Officer. 

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