First established as a small analytical laboratory for the Engineering and Water Supply Department and originally located at Glenelg, the labs relocated to Bolivar in 1966. ln March 2009 we left behind outdated facilities at Bolivar for leading edge laboratories in SA Water House that have been designed with laboratory staff to ensure high levels of workplace efficiency and safety.
AWQC is located in modern state-of-the-art facilities in the Adelaide CBD. The new laboratories include advanced laboratory instrumentation enabling the AWQC to offer rapid sample processing and a wide range of services tailored to the water industry.
The laboratories have been equipped with the latest scientific instrumentation to enable sensitive, rapid analysis and increase the capacity and capabilities of the labs. The AWQC's Research Laboratories undertake specialised testing for research projects and investigations to support the water industry.
Laboratory Design Features
A number of design features ensure the laboratories are not only state of the art in terms of equipment but also that they conform to ecologically sustainable design principles. This is most evident in the selection of materials such as flooring, bench tops, ceiling material as well as a dual waste stream for all areas.
Bacteriology, Protozoology, Product Testing and Media Preparation laboratories support the provision of analytical services by the Life Sciences team. Facilities include standard laboratory infrastructure for isolating and culturing bacteria, fluorescence microscopy and advanced systems for DNA extraction and molecular analyses for microbial identification.
The integrated Algal Operations and Biomonitoring functions including custom designed laboratory, instrument and microscopy work areas, and a specialist microscopy darkroom.
Analytical Quality Control (AQC)
Monitors analytical results by an AQC program with samples prepared in a separate laboratory to provide independent quality assurance.
Inorganic Chemistry Services
Includes four distinct laboratory areas: physical, waste, nutrients and metals. The metals laboratory has separate preparation and instrument areas and features an air-lock to minimise contamination as well as a positive pressure environment with air treated by hepafilters.
Organic Chemistry Services
Routinely test for pesticides, algaI toxins, disinfection by-products and compounds responsible for tastes and odours at trace concentrations to a high degree of accuracy. Equipped with state of the art instrumentation including mass spectrometry, LC and CC instruments.
Research and Innovation Services
AWQC includes purpose built research laboratories, supporting a variety of research areas including algal toxins and emerging contaminants, disinfection by-products, wastewater contaminants, compounds responsible for taste and odour in water, DNA-based identification of pathogens, water quality in distribution systems and optimisation of water and wastewater treatment processes. Specialised areas include a mammalian tissue culture laboratory, a virus laboratory, facilities for molecular analysis of water samples, an organics measurement laboratory and a large pilot plant area for research projects in the areas of:
- removal of organic matter using conventionaI water treatment and innovative treatment processes such as ion exchange resins
- disinfection demand and disinfection by-products for a range of disinfectants
- membrane processes
- removal of Natural
- Organic Matter (NOM) and algal metabolites.