The Water Survey’s Health and Environmental Applications Laboratory (HEAL) provides chemical analysis services to support better understanding of our water resources. HEAL supports state institutions, communities, and people in Illinois and beyond.
One of the services HEAL provides is water quality analysis for surface and drinking waters, which is particularly important for the thousands of Illinoisans whose drinking water comes from private wells rather than public water supplies. (Read more about the water testing process.)
HEAL’s expertise includes wet deposition chemistry; water supply and well water analyses; and analysis of fresh water, drinking water, and brine samples.
HEAL is jointly led by Nina Gartman (Assistant Scientist-Analytical Chemistry Laboratory Supervisor) and Evan Rea (Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist-Lab QA). Nina is responsible for the management of HEAL’s analytical staff, instruments, and facilities. She also conducts ion chromatography analysis, flow injection analysis, and other analyses for the National Ecological Observatory Network and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. In addition to helping to oversee day-to-day lab operations, Evan is focusing on HEAL’s accreditation, which involves developing and updating policies and procedures to bring HEAL into compliance with the 2016 NELAC Institute standard.
Rita Bargon, Tanya Grandt, Erin Tuegel, Kristina Freeman, Stacey Coffman, and Brenda Riney ensure that samples are received, stored, and analyzed properly and on time. Shipping coordinator Nichole Samson also helps ensure that samples and analysis reports move efficiently into and out of the lab.
Monte Wilcoxon leads quality control and handles client support, data management, and financial coordination.
Tom Bergerhouse manages all HEAL databases and software. He also leads a project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that manages data for the World Data Centre for Precipitation Chemistry and Quality Assurance/Science Activity Centre-Americas. Van Bowersox, an expert in the chemistry, collection, and analysis of atmospheric deposition, also assists with this project.
Ken Chapman is developing bacteriological testing capabilities; the goal is for the Water Survey to begin offering testing to total coliforms and e. coli later this year.
For more information about the HEAL team, visit https://www.isws.illinois.edu/chemistry-and-technology.