JANUARY 20, 2010

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Murphy-Brown LLC Water Quality Laboratory Open for Business on
OPSU Campus

The Murphy-Brown Water Quality Testing Laboratory on the campus of Oklahoma Panhandle State University began accepting samples earlier this fall, offering local convenience and cost savings for testing water. The lab is now accredited by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to test drinking water for "Bac-T," a measure of the presence or absence of E. coli and total coliforms as well as estimates of the amounts of those bacteria.

The accreditation at OPSU helps public water systems meet their required testing and covers municipal water systems, non-community systems (such as trailer parks with a well that distributes drinking water to its residents), and non-community water providers (such as rest stops). Each of these Oklahoma entities is required by law to test their drinking water, and now OPSU's water lab helps meet that requirement.

The lab can also test water for a variety of other properties like pH, hardness, alkalinity, anions (like nitrate, nitrite, chloride and sulfate), and cations (such as calcium and sodium). While the lab is not yet state accredited for these tests, customers have utilized the lab service for their own non-regulatory purposes such as testing water from private wells or for irrigation water quality. Additional services will soon include testing for metals, solids and purgeable organic chemicals such as those from a solvent or fuel spill.

OPSU implemented the lab to fill a strong need in our area. Samples have come from as far as 100 miles away as customers would rather drive their samples to OPSU than risk not getting on-time delivery to another lab. The lab also receives samples shipped to the facility. Director John Koehn hopes to have all of the testing accredited by Oklahoma DEQ within this year. He is also working on national accreditation which would open the lab service to all of the five-state area surrounding the Oklahoma panhandle.

Koehn is assisted in the laboratory by Deborah Ask. Both are skilled, certified water analysts using approved test methods. Providing accurate and consistent results, the pair documents all aspects of the operation and clients can rest assured all results are kept confidential.

Complete information about tests performed and sampling instructions may be found online at http://waterlab.opsu.edu/. The Murphy-Brown LLC Water Quality Testing Laboratory provides water quality expertise, and Koehn and Ask welcome inquiries from anyone with an interest in the subject. Clients may visit the lab, located on the OPSU campus in Goodwell, in the Science and Agriculture building, on the east end of the first floor, or telephone Koehn at 580-349-1571.