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February 17, 2019

Environmental Testing

Idaho Bureau of Laboratories (IBL) analyzes environmental samples for chemical and microbiological contamination:

  • IBL’s Organic Chemistry Laboratory conducts analyses of environmental samples (e.g., water, soil, sludge, food, paint) for organic contaminants including insecticides, herbicides, volatile organic contaminants, semi-volatile organic contaminants, and water treatment byproducts.
  • The Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory performs analyses of environmental samples (e.g., drinking water, soil, surface water) that are typically related to nutrients and metals, including include arsenic, copper, lead, fluoride, mercury, nitrate, and uranium.
  • The Environmental Microbiology Laboratory examines drinking water and its sources for the presence of disease-causing organisms, including coliform bacteria, E. coli, and Legionella spp.
  • IBL’s Air Quality Program analyzes air filters utilizing Federal Reference Methods and audits the performance of air samplers throughout the state for Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and tribes within Idaho.

IBL maintains strict guidelines regarding receipt and processing of samples. Some samples may be submitted by the public while others are accepted only from state agencies, district health departments, or law enforcement agencies.

Before submitting a sample, please consult the Bureau's Sampling and Submission Guide which provides a listing of tests performed at IBL and information on sample collection and handling procedures. Proper submission forms must accompany samples.  Call 208-334-2235 with questions about sample submission to IBL.

Idaho Ground Water Quality Interactive Map
The interactive map represents ground water data analyzed by the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories from 2012 to 2016. Domestic well owners can access the map by clicking on the link above. Contact the Chemistry Section Manager with any questions.

Idaho Bureau of Laboratories (IBL) offers free lead testing in drinking water for Idaho's public schools. Consult the Sampling and Submission Guide (Lead in Drinking Water--Public Schools) prior to sample submission.

Sample Collection and Submission

Resources for Lead in Drinking Water in Schools

Contact Information

Chemistry Section Manager:
     Ernie Bader
     (208) 334-0590
     (208) 334-4765 (fax) 
Organics and inorganics testing

Microbiology Section Manager:
     Robert Voermans
     (208) 334-0555
     (208) 334-4083 (fax)
Environmental microbiology testing

Emergency Activation Through StateComm, 1-800-632-8000

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