Aqualab Zuid is an accredited independent Dutch water laboratory, located in the Biesbosch National Park, which is a nature conservation area with one of the largest fresh water tidal zone in Europe. This laboratory monitors and optimizes the quality of drinking water in the south of the Netherlands.
Aqualab Zuid receives most of their water samples from three large waterworks companies and occassionally samples from other companies. The laboratory analyzes about 100 to 150 water samples a day on various parameters such as carbonate/bicarbonate, conductivity, oxygen, pH and turbidity in mainly surface water, ground water, drinking water and sometimes in waste water and swimming pool water.
Aqualab has been automating their water analysis for many years with four Skalar SP1000 analyzers. The two new SP2000 analyzers, that are replacing the SP1000 analyzers, include the latest innovations and technologies and offer a higher sample throughput as well, by the integration of a double titrator. The validation of the analyzers has been completed now and the analyzers are ready for routine operation.
Steps of Automation
- Dual titrator, for higher sample throughput
- Laboratory specific racks to fit the water sampling bottles
- Unattended overnight analysis
- High degree of automation, because sample collection bottles can be placed directly on the analyzer
The samples are collected and delivered to the laboratory during the day with the majority of the samples arriving between two and four o’clock in the afternoon. The plastic sample collection bottles with a screw cap are filled up with water and can be used throughout the entire process; from sample collection to sample analysis on the SP2000 analyzer. This removes the necessity to pour samples over in a smaller sample bottle.
Upon arrival the barcode on the sample bottle is scanned and the information is transferred to the LIMS. At the end of the day the sample bottles are loaded on the two SP2000 platforms. Both platforms have 7 racks with 18 samples and 1 rack with standard/QC positions. The data file of the LIMS is imported in the robotic software to create the sample table.
The analyzer is started upon leaving and the analysis is automatically executed during the night. First oxygen is measured, followed by conductivity, alkalinity, turbidity and pH. A double titrator has been integrated, giving the possibility to titrate two samples at once and therefore speeding up the analysis time.
In the morning the results are dispIayed in the sample table on the screen and ready to be exported to the LIMS. It is important that the results are reported before the next sampling round starts at 8 o’clock.
For more information about unattended automated sample preparation and/or analysis, please contact us