Why We Test

​​​​​​Analytical Services Tasmania (AST) provides an extensive chemical and algal testing service applicable to a broad range of situations. 

Testing is available for water, soil, particulate material and biological material (including fish and shellfish).

Common sample types include:

  • potable (drinking) water supplies
  • ground water and bore water
  • waste waters including sewage and industrial effluent
  • soil and solid waste monitoring
  • environmental water, soil and sediment monitoring
  • algal bloom identification in waters
  • environmental indicator fish species and other biota
  • shellfish biotoxin monitoring
  • waste fill classification
  • ambient air monitoring filters
  • sterilizer water quality monitoring for reusable medical devices
  • Industrial hemp crops for THC
  • Seaweed and livestock feed for Bromoform
The examples below offer further information on common testing circumstances.


​​Drinking Water Compliance Testing

Analytical Services Tasmania (AST) holds NATA accreditation for many of the physical, inorganic and organic chemical characteristics listed in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). These guidelines are used to confirm the suitability of water quality for human consumption in Australia. Please see the information sheet below for detailed suites of analysis available at AST for assessing ADWG compliance.

We can also give advice as to whether the test results fall within the guidelines and can set up regular delivery of sampling kits to adhere specifically to your scheduling and testing requirements – the right number and types of sample containers when you need them.

  AST Potable Water Tests   (174Kb)

Further information about drinking water quality can be found at the following sites:

  • The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) publishes the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.      Download the ADWG pdf document at the bottom of the NHMRC page for detailed information (See chapter 10 Table 10.6 for health and aesthetic values)
  • The Tasmanian Public Health Service – Drinking Water Qu​ality page​ has many useful links and information pertinent to Tasmania including Treated water supplies, Rural water supplies, Commercial Water Carriers, Private Water Suppliers, Water Quality guidelines and reports, and Rainwater tanks.


Packaged Water

AST can assist packaged water producers comply with chemical testing requirements.

The Australia and New Zealand Food Standa​rds Code (ANZFSC) and the Tasmanian Food Act apply to packaged water in Tasmania.

Packaged water is currently included in the ANZFSC standard 2.6.2 (Non-alcoholic beverages and brewed soft drinks) and references table A3.3 guidelines values for chemicals that are of health significance in drinking water. 

Please contact us for further information and to discuss your testing requirements.


Private Water Suppliers

AST provides chemistry testing services that assist Private Water Suppliers in complying with drinking water quality regulations.

Please see the DHHS Public Health web​ site​ for information and requirements for Private Water Suppliers or contact your local council Environmental Health Officer for further information.

The National Water Commission and the NHRMC have developed a community water planner tool to assist managers of remote community water supplies in managing water quality risks.


Rainwater tanks

Tank water is a good alternative drinking water source when mains reticulated supply is not available. AST is able to conduct algal and chemical testing on your rainwater tank water if required. Microbiology tests can be co-oridinated by AST with local accredited microbiology laboratories, please contact us to discuss your testing requirements.

The following sites provide useful information for rainwater tank owners:


Water for Livestock

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has information on Australian water resources policy, including information and guidelines for water quality for livestock. 

For details of upper limits of contaminants tolerated by various livestock see the Australian and New Zealand guidelines for fresh and marine water quality: Volume 1, chapter 4.

If it is deemed that testing is required, AST can provide the chemistry and algae testing services to help identify water quality issues for livestock.


Wastewater, Tradewaste and Tankered Waste

AST is able to support light and heavy industries and other businesses in meeting their wastewater, trade waste and tankered waste monitoring obligations. These include processing or manufacturing businesses such as dairy processers, breweries and distilleries, car yards, slipways, abattoirs, fruit and vegetable processers, seafood and marine products processers and other light and heavy industries.

Accredited testing services are also available for sediments and sludges for typical EPN or permit requirements.

AST is able to provide regularly scheduled delivered sampling kits and set up long term laboratory testing programs to help meet compliance testing obligations. 

Please contact our laboratory staff for your testing requirements.


Water Seepage Identification

Chemical testing can be used to help diagnose the source of a water seepage. However in the first instance if you are concerned about a leak from a reticulated water supply or sewer contact Taswater and if you are concerned about storm water contact your local c​ouncil​.

TasWater has further information about blockages, leaks and water and sewerage flooding

Testing for fluoride can indicate if a seepage is from a treated mains supply (tap water or sewage) however it should be noted that whilst this can be informative, there are instances where the test result is inconclusive.

AST also offers more complex and expensive testing that can be useful in identifying sewage. We recommend contacting one of our expert scientists to discuss the options available.


Environmental Monitoring

AST provides a comprehensive accredited analysis suite to support environmental monitoring obligations, including evaluation of water quality and research studies.

Water sample tests typically requested include, but are not limited to, low level total and dissolved nutrients (Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), Total Phosphorus (TP), Nitrate (NO3), Nitrite (NO2), Ammonia (NH3), Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus (DRP)), TSS, colour, turbidity, total and dissolved non-purgable organic carbon (NPOC), silica, total and dissolved metals, chlorophyll a, algae identification and enumeration (fresh or marine), pesticides, herbicides and other residual by-products. AST also offers similar tests for sediments and soils. AST is also accredited for atmospheric dust fallout. 

If performing routine work from the same sites, for the same tests, AST can automate a number of processes to simplify each sampling event. For example; the sending of sample bottles to pre-arranged addresses at scheduled times and accepting samples without detailed submission forms, where by prior arrangement we are given the information on sites and tests to be conducted. These regular analysis projects with AST once established can save samplers and project coordinators time and effort on sampling day.

Please contact us if you would like to set up such an arrangement.


Solid Waste Management Classification and Information Bulletin 105

Solid waste disposal to landfill requires chemistry testing for classification. Information about the requirements is available from EPA Tasmania. AST is able to perform the required tests for Information ​Bulletin 105​ classification and the Tasmanian Biosolids Reuse Guidelines, including the following tests:

  • Total and dissolved metals
  • Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TCLP) metals and organics
  • Organics (TPH/BTEX, PAHs, PCBs, TBT, phenols, DDT group, Aldrin, Dieldrin,  Benzo(a)pyrene)
  • General chemistry tests such as pH, conductivity, volatile/fixed solids, etc.

Our accredited in-house TCLP extraction method has been compared to Australian Standard method AS4439.3 and found to give equivalent results and is applicable to waste classification. 

Please contact AST to discuss your requirements.


Contaminated Site Assessment and the NEPM

AST holds NATA accreditation for many of the test methods recommended for assessing site contamination. AST can assist with meeting the testing requirements specified in the NEPM for local conditions.  Please contact AST if testing against NEPM guidelines is required. The following links to NEPM guidelines and information may be useful when deciding if testing is required and what tests may be necessary.

  • The assessment of site contamination NEPM toolbox has many useful links to guidelines and guidance documents 

AST gained NATA accreditation for TRH, vTRH and BTEXN at its most recent previous technical audit. This is in addition to the long standing TPH and BTEX accreditation that AST holds for these methods. Please see our TRH newsletter for further details:

    TRH newsletter   (272Kb)


Sterilizer water compliance testing for reusable medical devices

AST provides NATA accredited testing services that comply with the requirements of AS/NZ 4187:2014 Reprocessing of reusable medical devices in health service organisation, including endotoxin testing.

Testing against other standards or other analytical suites is also available:

  • EN 285 table B1 – water (feedwater) supplied to steam generator
  • EN 285 table 10.1 and table E2 Steam purity tests
  • section of AS/NZ 4187:2014

Monitoring steriliser water on a regular basis ensures:

  • the steriliser water is not too hard that it impairs the activity of detergents or causes deposits
  • the steriliser water will not cause scaling or corrosion of items  processed
  • the steriliser water is not re-contaminating disinfected items with microorganisms or toxins.

For information about sampling RMD sterilizer water, the different testing requirements for different types of sterilizers, or how to submit samples to AST, please our RMD sterilizer water information sheet:

  RMD Steriliser Water Sampling   (577Kb)



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