Document Type

Fact Sheet

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water samples, water analysis, accurate, percise


The Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC) maintains a fee-based water-quality lab that is certified by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). The AWRC Water Quality Lab analyzes water samples for a variety of constituents, using standard methods for the analysis of water samples (APHA 2012). The lab generates a report on the analysis, which is provided to clientele, and reports the concentrations or values as measured. Often times the concentrations or values might be very small, even zero as reported by the lab – what does this mean? How should we use this information? This document is intended to help our clientele understand the analytical report, the values, and how one might interpret information near the lower analytical limits. Every client wants the analysis of their water sample(s) to be accurate and precise, but what do we really mean when we say those two words? These words are often used synonymously or thought of as being the same, but the two words mean two different things. Both are equally important when analyzing water samples for constituent concentrations.