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American Samoa’s EPA water analysis laboratory receives full certification from USEPA

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source: AS-EPA

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Amy Wagner, a laboratory certification officer from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 9, administered an on-site evaluation of the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) water laboratory, for analyzing drinking water samples.

The evaluation process covered a period of three days (June 4 – 6, 2019), which included a review of Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) documents, record keeping, inspection of laboratory facilities and instruments, and collection and analysis of water samples, to name a few.

In a letter dated July 26, 2019 from USEPA, the AS-EPA water laboratory received full certification to use the Colilert procedure for microbiological analysis of drinking water. According to director Faamao Asalele Jr., “The certification is good for three (3) years and will remain in effect until July 31, 2022. This certification is important in ensuring that the AS-EPA laboratory continues to operate in a technically sound manner and produces scientifically valid and legally defensible data.”

The AS-EPA laboratory collects and analyzes drinking water samples from ASPA’s distribution water lines and wells, water vending machines, and village water systems. In addition to drinking water, AS-EPA collects and analyzes water samples from nearshore waters and streams that are used for recreational purposes. This is to ensure that drinking water is safe for human consumption and ensure that water quality conditions are safe for recreational purposes.

AS-EPA director, Fa’amao Asalele Jr. is proud of his young and enthusiastic laboratory staff and wishes to congratulate them on the certification. “Drinking water and water quality is paramount and continues to be one of the highest priorities for AS-EPA in the interest of protecting public health and the environment,” he said.

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