A CHEMICAL and environmental laboratory is investing thousands in testing water.
Fareham-based Envirochem is investing more than £150,000 in technology that will put it at the forefront of water quality testing in the south.
The firm provides scientific analysis services in its high tech laboratories in Broadcut in Fareham, testing for asbestos, lead in paint, air quality, and water-borne diseases such as legionella.
It has now invested in equipment that will be able to detect minute contaminants in water.
The Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer from Japanese manufacturing company Shimadzu is used for ultra-low level detection of metals and semi-metals in groundwater, rivers, effluent and drinking water.
It is capable of detecting less than one particle in one trillion.
Envirochem director Chris Mirzaians said: ‘This is a major investment in technology for the business and will put us right at the forefront of this sector in the south of England.
‘We already have an enviable reputation for the quality of our testing and analysis of all sorts of environmental and microbiological samples - all nationally accredited through the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. This investment takes us to the next level.
‘We will mainly be using this instrument for drinking water testing and it will enable us to test to the very highest standards of quality as determined by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
‘With the ICP-MS, we’ll be testing for metals such as lead, arsenic, antimony, mercury and cadmium in water samples for our clients.’
The flame in the new equipment burns as hot as the surface of the sun - 6,000C - during the analysis process.
The equipment is being built in Japan and is expected to be delivered and commissioned in the Envirochem laboratories before the end of the year.
Lara Johnson from Shimadzu said: ‘We have been working with Envirochem since 2012, when the first total organic carbon analyser was purchased. We are delighted to be working together again, for the fourth time, on the delivery and installation of the new ICP-MS system.’