VCU Water Department Certified Microbiology Laboratory

VCU Water Department has received a certificate of approval for its Certified Microbiology Laboratory from the Indiana State Department of Health.


This certification allows VCU to perform microbiology testing of city’s water samples in-house.  At least four water samples each day, or over 1500 every year, are tested in this lab to meet compliance requirements. This has led to significant cost savings compared to outsourcing the testing.


In addition, the lab is open seven (7) days a week which brings flexibility and convenience to our water testing. If there is main break in city’s distribution system, the samples can be tested on that same day, even on holidays. As a result, VCU has reduced water service down time considerably thus minimizing service disruptions to our customers.

To obtain the certificate approval, strict lab procedures are followed by staff at all times. All records must be kept accurately. Quality control checks on lab supplies and reagents are conducted on a regular schedule and lab instruments are maintained in good condition. At least one Proficiency Testing (PT) study is required each year where ten (10) water samples containing unknown bacteria need to be analyzed in the lab. The types of bacteria in those samples need to be identified by our staff and the results are graded for accuracy by an accredited PT provider. Historically, we have successfully passed all the PT studies with 100% accuracy.

As part of the approval process, an official from the Indiana State Department of Health will visit the lab for an onsite inspection and will determine whether to approve this certification or not. Once approved, the certification is good for three (3) years.
Water Testing in Treatment Lab