Chemical Analyses at the ELA

The analytical water chemistry laboratory at the ELA is a branch of the main analytical water chemistry laboratory at the Freshwater Institute (FWI) in Winnipeg. Generally speaking, analyses that must be carried out shortly after sampling are conducted in the laboratory at the ELA. Analyses that can be carried out weeks or more later (often following initial preprocessing at the ELA) are usually shipped to the Winnipeg laboratory. Over the years, these laboratories have developed and refined many methods for the chemical analysis of fresh water, particularly the chemically dilute water found in most ELA lakes and other Boreal Shield systems. Both laboratories are also accredited by the Canadian Association for Environmental Analytical Laboratories (CAEAL)and undergo regular external reviews to maintain this accreditation.

A total of 23 accredited analyses are listed here; seven are used in the ELA laboratory and 16 in the FWI laboratory. They are as follows:

    ELA Laboratory Chemical Analyses

    • Specific Conductance (Conductivity)
    • Nitrite and Nitrate Nitrogen by Automated System (NO2 & NO3)
    • Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH)
    • Total Dissolved and Ammonia Nitrogen (TDN & NH3)
    • Total Dissolved Phosphorus (TDP)
    • Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC)
    • Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP)
    FWI Laboratory Analyses

    • Metals by Atomic Absortion and Emission Spectroscopy (AAS)
    • Ammonia Nitrogen (Ammonia N)
    • Chloride and Sulphate (Cl & SO4)
    • Chlorophyll a by HPLC and Gross Fluorescence (Chlorophyll a)
    • Specific Conductance by Specific TitratION System (Conductivity)
    • Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)
    • Nitrite and Nitrate Nitrogen (NO2 & NO3)
    • Particulate Carbon and Nitrogen (Partic. C & N)
    • Equilibrated pH by PC TitratION Plus System (pH)
    • Soluble Reactive Silicon by Lachat Flow Injection (SRS)
    • Total Dissolved Nitrogen (TDN)
    • Total Dissolved Phosphorus (TDP)
    • Gran Alkalinity Titration by PC Titrate System (Gran Alkalin.)
    • Particulate Phosphorus (Partic. P)
    • Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP)
    • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

"When you drink the water, remember the spring."Chinese Proverb

Water is the basis of life and the blue arteries of the earth! Everything in the non-marine environment depends on freshwater to survive - Sandra Postel, “Sandra Postel, Global Water Policy Project,” 
Grist Magazine
26 Apr 04