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Soil and Low-Ionic-Strength Water Quality Laboratory

The New York Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Troy, N.Y., operates a state-of-the-science laboratory for the chemical analysis of soil and water. For over 20 years, the laboratory has specialized in analyses used in acid rain research and other environmental studies such as soil effects on forest health and logging effects on water quality.

Laboratory Information:

Contact the Lab for 

customized  schedules and fees. 

phone: (518) 285-5681         

The history of methods used to analyze samples in this lab is included in the following chart:

History of NYWSC Laboratory Methods.pdf


We provide accurate measurements of soil water, non-agricultural soils, stream water, and lake water, that can be adapted to the specific needs of each study. Our services include sample processing and  customized data reports. We can also provide copies of our Standard Operating  Procedures (SOP’s), and Quality Control Reports, which include all QA/QC data



Our  instruments include an ion chromatograph, an inductively coupled plasma  spectrophotometer, a dissolved carbon analyzer, three flow-injection analyzers,  a carbon-nitrogen analyzer for soil, an auto titrator,  a turbidimeter and a spectrophotometer.  All our instruments are linked through a  customized laboratory information system that provides maximum data management  efficiency.



Our  laboratory has provided data for the USGS and many external agencies and  institutions, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New York  State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York City Department of  Environmental Protection, U.S. Forest Service, New York State Energy Research  and Development Authority, National Park Service, and many academic and  community groups. Data produced in our  laboratory have been published in hundreds of technical journals and agency  reports.


Quality Assurance 

The  laboratory participates in the USGS Standard Reference Sample program that  includes both identified and blind reference samples, Environment Canada’s National  Water Research Institute Ecosystem Interlaboratory QA  Program, and the Northeastern Soil Monitoring Cooperative Reference Soil Sample  Exchange Program Our laboratory  receives periodic audits by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our laboratory is certified by the New York State Department of Health’s Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).


USGS Laboratory Selection Narrative Example

Low Ionic Strength Water Analyses


Our Laboratory is located in the Rensselaer Technology Park at  425 Jordan Road, (North Greenbush) Troy, NY 12180