AGAT Laboratories’ environmental laboratories utilize US EPA and Standard Methods for the examination of water and wastewater, as well as CCME, ASTM, OMOE, RBCA, MDDEFP, NIOSH and other recognized methodologies in accordance with both federal and provincial legislations.
We deliver comprehensive analytical services for:
- Contaminated site testing
- Drilling waste services
- Landfill monitoring
- Groundwater and surface water monitoring
- Mine reclamation and monitoring
- Waste Leachate testing
- Open Scan compound identification
- Detailed soil and water analysis (including drinking water)
- Research and development
- Method development
- Soil vapour analysis
Our full-range of services can provide you with the following advantages:
- Fast turn-around of data and rush results available for time-sensitive analysis.
- Experienced, highly qualified staff and state-of the-art instrumentation.
- An assigned Business Development Representative and personalized Client Project Manager for your project needs.
- Strategically located laboratories for easy access.
- A comprehensive branch and depot system for convenient sample drop-off and supply pick-up.
- Relationships with leading domestic and international couriers with next-day service and the ability to assist with sample logistics planning for remote sampling sites.
- Instant access to results at anytime, anywhere through our interactive environmental databaseWebEARTH.
WebEARTH is our interactive web database for our environmental clients. This software package can provide you with real-time access to analytical results while integrating features such as data-trending, guideline comparisons, quality control and customizable export functions. This includes custom downloads in client-specified formats, the substitution of cross-Canada regulatory standards, various reporting formats, trending and graphing options all in a secure, managed environment.
To access our WebEARTH login page, click here.
The En Core Sampler ®
AGAT Laboratories is the exclusive Canadian laboratory provider of the En Core® Sampler. This device collects, stores and delivers soil samples in one easy-to-use package. It is approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment as the only alternative to Methanol field stabilization, eliminating the requirement for chemical stabilization in the field.
Laboratory accreditation provides formal recognition to competent laboratories, thus providing a ready means for you to find reliable testing and calibration services that also meets your service needs.
AGAT Laboratories is accredited, licensed or approved for specific analyses by the following agencies:
- The Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA)
- The Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
- Enhanced Water Quality Assurance (EWQA)
- Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)
- Ministère de l’Environnement et de l’Action en matière de changement climatique (MDDELCC)
- Nova Scotia Environment
AGAT Laboratories is accredited by CALA and SCC, for specific tests, to the following standard:
AGAT laboratories is certified to the following standard:
The Accreditation Process
World-wide, many countries rely on a process called Laboratory Accreditation which includes specific criteria and procedures as a means of determining technical competence. Specialized technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors in a laboratory that affect the production of test or calibration data. The criteria is based on the internationally accepted standards of ISO/IEC 17025, which are used for evaluating laboratories throughout the world. Laboratory accreditation bodies specifically use this standard to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data.
AGAT Laboratories is accredited, licensed or approved for specific analyses and ensures:
- Validity and appropriateness of test methods.
- Suitability, calibration and maintenance of test equipment.
- Technical competence of staff.
- Testing environment.
- Sampling, handling and transportation of test items.
- Quality assurance of test and calibration data.
- Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards.
To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-examined to ensure that they are maintaining their standards of technical expertise. These laboratories may also be required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an on-going demonstration of their competency.
Accreditation and Proficiency Testing
CALA: The Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) grants and maintains laboratory accreditations. It operates two programs that assist laboratories in meeting international accreditation requirements. These programs are known as the Proficiency Testing Program and the Training Service Program. Accreditation itself is based on satisfactory participation in CALA’s site assessment program as well as satisfactory participation in proficiency testing.
Proficiency Testing: Is a special type of inter-laboratory comparison study. It is a powerful quality assurance tool that enables laboratories to monitor their performance and compare their results against similar laboratories.
CALA’s Proficiency Testing Program is accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 and generally consists of four samples per study with two studies per year.
The analyte concentrations in these samples are unknown to the participating laboratory, which analyzes the samples and reports the results for evaluation. If the laboratory does not report the correct value for two consecutive rounds of study, they are suspended for those parameters and will not be accredited until the issue has been corrected. Successful participation results in the laboratory obtaining proficient status for the analytes examined. These results are used as one of the surveillance tools in support of laboratory accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025.
Once accredited, a site assessment is done every two years at the qualifying laboratory to verify that operationally, the laboratory is up to the standards set forth by the accrediting body.
The analysis of organic compounds at trace levels of pesticides, solvents, fuels, PCBs and others requires a high degree of skill and expertise. The diversity of organic compound classes must be reflected in the diversity of instrumentation available and in the professionals staffing an organics laboratory.
AGAT Laboratories’ Trace Organics laboratory is accredited by CALA for parameters listed on our scope of accreditation, which can be viewed on CALA’s website. Our Trace Organics team focuses on the analysis of organic priority pollutants for environmental applications. They also have the ability to perform analysis such as the custom identification of unknown organic compounds in both bulk and trace levels.
Methods of analysis can be developed and validated for performance upon request to the laboratory. Our clients for organic analysis include the government, military, waste managers, landfills, ecologists, environmental consultants, process engineers, manufacturing companies, research scientists, food producers and many more.
For years AGAT Laboratories has been providing high quality trace organic data to meet both provincial and federal guidelines. Through advances in methodology, we are able to meet the low-level detections of thousands of compounds that are required by Alberta Tier 1, BC MOE, CCME, O. Reg 153/558 and the Atlantic RBCA.
These compounds include the following:
- Volatile Organic Compounds
- Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
- Sterilants (low-level)
- Pesticides and Herbicides
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls
- Naphthenic acids
- Formaldehyde and Aldehydes
- Low-level Sulfolane
- Total and extractable organic Halides
- Chlorophenolic Compounds
- Oil and grease
- CBM Methane in water
- Schedule 11 BC CSR soil vapour compounds
- Volatile fatty acids
All of these compounds are available in custom-designed packages to meet your provincial guidelines and detection limits.
Our Trace Organics Experience
Having the ability to deal with a broad range of organic analysis is something that not many laboratories can claim. AGAT Laboratories’ team of scientists Canada-wide are always available for specialty analysis, method development, chromatogram and data interpretation as well as for expert advice on your projects.
AGAT Laboratories’ experience includes many projects with analytical work in areas such as:
- Underground storage tanks
- Pesticide residues in many applications
- PCBs for utilities and hygiene
- Identification of unknowns for waste classification
- Solvent scans for landfill purposes
- Organic halide determinations
- Materials stability studies
- Organic vapour determinations
- Product purity
- Groundwater monitoring
Inorganic Chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the properties and behaviour of inorganic compounds. This field covers all chemical compounds except the myriad of organic compounds (compounds containing C-H bonds) that are the subject of Organic Chemistry.
AGAT Laboratories is accredited for a vast array of inorganic parameters for the analysis of soils, sludges, drinking water, groundwater, coalbed methane testing and landfill analysis.
Some of our Inorganic capabilities include:
- Trace metals
- Anions (CI, Br, F, NO3, NO2, SO4)
- Cations (Mg, Ca, Na, K)
- Physical parameters
- TLCP and Inorganics
- Ultra low-level Mercury
AGAT Laboratories can analyze up to 36 different metals and these analyses are available in packaged scans according to region. Our environmental laboratories frequently invest in the most recent instrumentation for optimal analysis and are equipped with both ICP-OES and ICP-MS instrumentation.
Expanding our capabilities in both Calgary and Mississauga, these locations utilize the ICP-MS ELAN® DRC II. The innovative ELAN® DRC II completely eliminates polyatomic interferences by using patented Dynamic Reaction Cell™ (DRC™) technology with performance-enhancing axial field technology. Using a process called chemical resolution; the ELAN DRC II eliminates plasma-based polyatomic interferences before they reach the quadrupole mass spectrometer. This instrument allows for the best method detection limits in our soils and waters, to reach those low-level numbers seen in the CCME’s Freshwater Aquatic Life Guidelines.
AGAT Laboratories has fully accredited microbiology laboratories to detect bacteria under strict quality assurance conditions. We can analyze for bacteria using a number of microbial techniques which satisfy the strict environmental regulations across Canada.
AGAT Laboratories’ environmental microbiology capabilities currently include the following bacterial parameters:
- E. coli 0157:H7
- Yeast and Mould
- Total Coliforms
- Fecal Coliforms
- Sulfate Reducing Bacteria
- Iron-related Bacteria
All of AGAT Laboratories’ microbiology laboratories are accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) for microbiological parameters with the exception of our Quebec Laboratory. This microbiology laboratory is instead accredited for water and soil analysis by the Ministère du Développement Durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec (MDDEP).
Please note: Our microbiology laboratory is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada for the detection of food borne pathogens and uses methods prescribed by Health Canada as well as methods approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
Indoor Air Quality Program
Indoor Air Quality is important for all buildings, specifically for office and institutional buildings. The topic of air quality concerns associated with a non-industrial, “clean” office environment have only been recognized and quantified within the past two decades.
AGAT Laboratories utilizes a wide-range of analytical techniques to provide the necessary data used to assess indoor air quality. This data can be used by Air Quality Consultants to provide recommendations on air quality. Following are some of our services from our Air Quality Monitoring Division that can be applied to the area.
We offer various integrated sampling programs based on drawing air through filters and absorbents. We use specialized sampling techniques as per EPA TO Methods that can be supplied for multiple components including:
- Filters for high volume sampling for TSP and PM10.
- PUF tubes for high volume sampling for PCBs and PAHs.
- Sep-pak cartridges and Gastec tubes for Formaldehyde and Phenol.
- Silonite Canisters and Tedlar bags for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) detection.
AGAT Laboratories offers Silonite Canisters, the latest in SUMMA testing technology for the collection of the following:
- Indoor air sources
- Ambient air sources
- Stationary air sources
- Soil vapour
- Soil vapour by thermal desorption
These canisters are used for volatile organic determination in ambient indoor air by EPA TO-14A/15A – Canister Sampling. Silonite technology increases the integrity of samples by preventing degradation by exposure to sunlight and the permeation of Volatile Organic Compounds through the vessel walls. This allows easy shipping and storage over longer periods of time.
For more details on all of our Air Quality Monitoring services and Source Testing capabilities,
please click here.
Research and Development
AGAT Laboratories is committed to an ambitious Research and Development Program that results in numerous separate projects developed in each area of our scientific divisions. These projects represent initiatives designed to improve internal processes while continuing to offer you new services.
The following includes the abstracts from each of the projects developed by our Environmental Chemistry Division.