Click on a blue shaded room in the image above to view more information about how it works.
In the University of Washington Tacoma's environmental chemistry labs, air, water, sediment, biota and other environmental samples are processed in preparation for chemical analyses. Pollutants are extracted from each type of sample and the resulting solutions are further purified prior to analysis. Air entering this laboratory is filtered to ensure the clean conditions required to process samples, and fume hoods provide a safe working environment.
In this lab:
Advanced analytical instrumentation for identifying and quantifying chemical pollutants in environmental samples is housed in this laboratory. Extracted and processed environmental samples are analyzed and measured here for a variety of volatile and non-volatile chemicals. Chemical standards are also prepared in this laboratory prior to instrumental analyses.
This laboratory supports University of Washington Tacoma research projects and is used to train graduate and undergraduate students as they develop and employ innovative methods to measure chemical contaminants in the Puget Sound.
Clean Room labs, shared by the City of Tacoma and University of Washington Tacoma, are used to test for very low levels of metal and organic pollution. These labs have special ventilation and air filtration systems to ensure that contaminants often present in the air do not enter the labs and contaminate samples. These labs allow researchers to study ultra-low levels of contaminants in the environment.
In these labs:
In the Metals Prep and Analysis lab, scientists analyze surface water, groundwater, wastewater, soil, sediment and sludge for more than two dozen potentially toxic elements. While some metals are essential nutrients and are important trace elements necessary for a healthy ecosystems (e.g., calcium, magnesium, and zinc), they may be harmful at high concentrations; other metals (e.g., arsenic, lead, and mercury) are toxic even at low concentrations. Results from this lab are compared to regulatory limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the City of Tacoma. By measuring these metals, contaminant sources can be identified, monitored and assessed to ensure the environment is protected from adverse impact.
Technicians in the Glass Wash/Reagent Preparation section perform support services that aid scientists with the work being conducted at the Center for Urban Waters. In this area, glassware and sample containers are rigorously cleaned to ensure removal of all contaminants. Ultra clean glassware is critical because residual contamination can interfere with sample results, causing false positives and/or uncertainty in the sample results. Chemical solutions are also prepared in this area for use in the Conventionals Analysis lab.
In this section: