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Environmental Compliance

The St. Petersburg Environmental Compliance Division (ECD) Laboratory Policy Statement:

“To provide clients with prompt and efficient environmental laboratory testing services following professional practices that produce data of high quality and integrity used to ensure public health and safety.”

This section protects human health and the environment by ensuring conformity to federal and state environmental laws and regulations. The division is audited on a regular basis, and laboratory performance studies are conducted bi-annually to ensure valid results.

The ECD consists of Environmental Specialists who collect samples from various locations, including but not limited to: water reclamation facilities, industrial facilities, the Cosme drinking water plant and pump stations, wastewater lift stations, injection and monitoring wells, and recreational beaches.

Trained Laboratory Chemists then analyze the samples using advanced technology and procedures. Listed below are some of the analyses performed in the laboratory:

Alkalinity Biochemical Oxygen Demand Chloride Titration Chlorine Residual Chemical Oxygen Demand Solids Turbidity
Fecal coliform Enterococci Total coliform Escherichia coli Color Odor Hardness

Other compounds and elements are analyzed using specialized instruments, such as:
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOC) – this instrument oxidizes the organic carbon in a sample, then detects and quantifies the oxidized carbon. 
Gas Chromatograph/ Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)
– used to analyze and screen for over 60 volatile organic compounds that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. Some of the compounds are listed in the table below:
Bromoform* Benzene* Bromodichloromethane* Carbon Tetrachloride*
Chlorobenzene Chloroform 1,2-Dichlorobenzene Dichloromethane
cis-1,2-Dichloroethene 1,1-Dichloroethene 1,4-Dichlorobenzene trans-1,2-Dichloroethene
Vinyl Chloride Methyl-tert-butyl ether 1,1,2-Trichloroethane Ethylbenzene
1,1-Dichloroethane 1,2-Dichloropropane 1,2-Dichloroethane Total Xylenes
1,1-Dichloroethene Trichloroethene Styrene 1,2-Dichloroethane
1,2-Dichloropropane 1,1,1-Trichloroethane Toluene 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
* Make up Trihalomethanes

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES) – used for determination of the following metals:

Aluminum Cobalt Selenium
Antimony Copper Sodium
Arsenic Iron Silver
Barium Lead Strontium
Beryllium Magnesium Thallium
Boron Manganese Tin
Cadmium Molybdenum Titanium
Calcium Nickel Vanadium
Chromium Potassium Zinc

Flow Injection Analyzer (FIA) – used to analyze dissolved and total nutrients, such as Nitrate/Nitrite, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Ammonia, and Total Phosphorous.

Ion Chromatograph (IC) – this instrument uses retention time separation technology to analyze Chloride, Fluoride, and Sulfate.

The well-being of St. Petersburg water customers and the health of our environment is the highest priority to the employees in the Water Resources Department.

The Water Quality Report (also known as the Consumer Confidence Report - CCR) is designed to inform customers about the high quality of the drinking water and services we delivered to you over the past year. It is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ensures the public that St. Petersburg routinely monitors for contaminants in drinking water and meets and/or exceeds Federal and State laws, rules and regulations.
Water Quality Following Tropical Storm Hermine:
Since Hermine, the city has performed daily water quality monitoring at four St. Petersburg beach locations: Lassing Park, Spa Beach, North Shore Beach and Booker Creek and 11th Ave. S. Warning signs were posted at all locations except Booker Creek. Monitoring was also performed at Maximo Park resulting in normal levels.  

Following two straight days of normal readings, daily monitoring has stopped and warning signs have been removed. Water quality monitoring will return to regular weekly sampling for the healthy beaches program. Results of water quality monitoring:
A series of daily monitoring discharge reports following Tropical Storm Hermine have also been made available.

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