ChemServe specializes in the analysis of groundwater, wastewater and solids. The laboratory analyzes environmental contaminants at concentration levels of a few parts-per-billion (ppb) to several parts-per-million (ppm). These types of lab analyses require extreme care, well-trained staff and highly sophisticated analytical instrumentation. Examples of the instruments used include: Gas Chromatograph (GC), Combination Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS),  and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectrometers.

The laboratory analysis of groundwater, wastewater and solids is divided into two areas.

One section is dedicated to analyzing organic molecules. These compounds include:

  • volatile solvents such as methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, benzene, toluene.
  • chlorinated pesticides such as DDT, Dieldrin, chlordane.
  • semi-volatile compounds such as phenols, phthalates and, other organic compounds. These include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s), volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (MAVPH method) , extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (MAEPH method), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s).

Most of these compounds are either highly toxic, persistent in the environment or bioaccumulate in animals and humans.

Our 10,000 square foot laboratory facility, situated in Milford, New Hampshire, operates with a staff of more than 20 highly trained professionals utilizing the most up to date laboratory analytical instruments and methodologies

The other section is dedicated to analyzing inorganic or non-carbon containing compounds including:

  • heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and others
  • anions such as fluoride, nitrate, chloride, perchlorate
  • a host of water quality parameters such as BOD, COD, pH, cyanides, nutrients

VIEW: EPA methods list

Chemserve has the equipment and expertise to collect wastewater samples from schools and municipalities for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus testing. Along with these sampling services, we offer rapid testing of wastewater samples for the presence of the virus by quantitative PCR.

Industrial & Permit Monitoring Analysis

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
Water pollution degrades surface water making it unsafe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities. As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution. This is achieved by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into water. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit. However, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if discharges directly enter surface waters. Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program has been responsible for significant improvements to the Nation’s water quality.

ChemServe utilizes highly sensitive analysis equipment to achieve the stringent detection limit requirements for the NPDES program.

Industrial Monitoring
Monitoring of industrial processes, their releases and their impact on the environment are key elements of regulatory control. The self-monitoring system primarily relates to measurements of process conditions, process inputs, releases and environmental pollution levels. The information obtained from a sampling and monitoring system is recorded and reported to the appropriate internal and external decision-makers.

ChemServe has extensive experience in the monitoring arena and owns all of the equipment necessary to perform sampling and analysis for industry monitoring and for specific permit requirements.

Massachusetts Water Resource Authority
ChemServe performs most analysis that may be required for monitoring by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA). Analysis is conducted based on the most current permit on hand and reported directly to the MWRA upon completion.

The ChemServe laboratory is a Massachusetts-certified water quality testing laboratory.


Perchlorate (ClO4-) is an anion commonly found in accelerants such as fireworks and explosives used in construction. Perchlorate from the dissolution of ammonium, potassium, magnesium, or sodium salts in these items contaminates the ground water and surface water which then may show up in residential drinking water. There is evidence that chlorinated substances used in water treatment facilities may contain perchlorate. Exposure to heat, light or long-term storage may cause a chemical reaction converting the chlorine into perchlorates. Town water is usually tested for this possibility but private well water may need to be tested for perchlorate.

Large volumes of perchlorate has been disposed of since the 1950’s and perchlorate has been detected in at least 14 states, every state having a confirmed perchlorate manufacturer or user. In 2001 the EPA began requirement for monitoring this contaminant in the nation’s drinking water and regulatory pressures to reduce perchlorate concentrations in surface and ground water have been increasing.

ChemServe is certified for perchlorate analysis under NELAC and for the more stringent Massachusetts perchlorate drinking water program. The analysis can detect perchlorate as low as 0.3 ppb.