All of the samples collected for public drinking water in Missouri pass through sample receiving. Over 10,000 sample kits are assembled, shipped and received each year. Each sample is labeled, assigned a location and entered into the Laboratory Information Management System. The sample is inventoried both before and after analyses.
Nonpotable water, soil, organic and inorganic samples are also received and stored. These samples are initiated by field personnel within the Department of Natural Resources and also by customers from outside the department. The sample custodian checks the sample for preservative, container and holding time before accepting, to ensure the sample meets all EPA guidelines for the analyses requested.
The sample custodian works in a secure area that has limited access to insure the integrity of the samples. Each chain of custody that is received and processed in sample receiving, along with the sample, is checked to make sure it can be defended in court so that action can be taken to ensure safe water and land for Missouri citizens.