Laboratory Certification Program

Purpose of the Program

The Division of Water Resources' (DWR) laboratory certification program (LCP) evaluates and certifies laboratories for chemistry, microbiology and radiochemistry parameters and Cryptosporidium.

The program ensures that all laboratories that submit monitoring data for public water systems in the state of Tennessee meet the criteria established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in The Manual for the Certification of Laboratories Analyzing Drinking Water (EPA 815-B-97-001), 5th edition, January 2005.

Certification Procedure

A request for certification of a laboratory must be submitted to the Division of Water Resources Laboratory Certification Program:

Written Requests:

Division of Water Resources
Lab Certification Program
Attn: Prasad Subbanna
Davy Crockett Tower-9th Floor
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Or by e-mail to

Application for Microbiological Laboratory Certification

Microbiological Lab Certification Requirements

Microbiological Lab Certification Checklist

Please include the groups of contaminates for which certification is desired:

Chemistry Microbiology Radiochemistry
General or Wet Coliforms by Enzyme Substrate or Membrane Filter Gross Alpha or Beta
Inorganic Heterotrophic Plate Count Radium 226
Organic Enterococci Radium 228
PCBs Cryptosporidium Gamma Emitters
TTHMs   Cesium
HAA5s   Strontium

The LCP manager will evaluate the application and may request information such as:

  • Documentation that an audit has been done by the applicant lab’s home (or parent) state or by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation (NELAC) program that their state has a contract with
  • Lab’s scope or list of requested Certified Parameters (CPs).
  • Proof that the laboratory successfully completed Proficiency Testing (PT) or Performance Evaluation (PE) of samples through an approved provider 
  • Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) or QA Manual (QAM)

The LCP Manager will review all the submitted information and determine the lab’s certification rating. Approved labs will receive an e-mail notification about approval and then will receive a certification letter along with a certificate and approved CP list (scope) upon receipt of payment of the relevant certification fees. (listed below)

Labs certified in the state of Tennessee will need to be audited on-site every three years by qualified LCP certification officers.

Labs outside of Tennessee may be certified by reciprocity with qualified LCP certification officers in their respective state.

Lab Certification Ratings:

  • Certified 
    • Lab meets all criteria, successfully completed PT analysis & has paid annual certification fees
  • Interim Certified 
    • Lab is newly certified (as above) and is awaiting audit for additional parameters
  • Provisionally Certified
    • Lab is certified, but may have failed a PT analysis, failed to report compliance data in a timely manner, or is not maintaining the required standard of quality
    • Lab must apply for upgrade to regain certification when able to correct deficiencies to the satisfaction of the LCP Manager
  • Not Certified
    • Lab does not meet certification requirements
    • Lab must apply for upgrade to regain certification when able to correct deficiencies to the satisfaction of the LCP Manager
Certification Fees:
Administration Fee
In State $1000
Administration Fee
Out of State $750
General Chemistry   $500
Inorganics Including Metals $500
Organics   $500
Disinfection Byproducts
TTHMs & HAA5s $500
Polychlorinated Biphenyls
PCBs $500
Radionuclides $500
Enzyme Substrate 
Total coliform & E. coli $500
Membrane Filter 
Total coliform & E. coli
Heterotrophic Plate Count 
HPC $500

(Laboratories approved for drinking water analysis)