Tip: Find your topic quickly using your browser's search feature (crtl-F or command-F on most browsers).

If you cannot find your question please call us at (619) 276-1558. We'll be happy to assist you.

Where are you located?

Please note our new address: 8222 Vickers St., Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92111

What prices do you charge?

Because each client is unique, we're happy to answer price list requests by phone (619) 276-1558.

How is Turn Around Time (TAT) calculated?

TAT is calculated from the time sample is delivered to the lab and entered in Lab Logbook.

After-business-hours (5 pm to 9 am), Weekends, and Holidays are excluded from TAT calculation. (i.e.: 5 days TAT is actually 7 calendar days if there are no holidays.)

What is the difference between Method Reporting Limit (MRL) and Method Detection Limit (MDL)?

The MRL is the lowest concentration standard in the calibration range of each compound analyzed. It is the lowest level of quantitation.  

The MDL is determined statistically from seven replicate low-level spikes. The MDL is defined as the minimum concentration of an analyte that can be measured and reported with 99% confidence that the analyte concentration is greater than zero. It is the limit of detection. Certain analyses have a different way of determining the MDLs.

What test methods do you perform?

See our Services Tab for more information on the various methods (drinking water, wastewater, soils/hazardous waste & specialty) performed at ACL.

The test methods used in the Laboratory are in substantial agreement with the methodology published by the USEPA and the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, current approved Edition.

Other methods used follow the guidelines of the AOAC, ASTM, NIOSH and other recognized methodologies. Some methods have been modified in order to achieve special reporting limits or to be applied to other matrices. Laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs) are written for all methods in use at the laboratory.

What is your standard Turn Around Time (TAT)?

For most analyses the turn around time (TAT) is up to 5 working days, depending on the type and number of tests needed.

RUSH analyses are available and should be arranged in advance. A Surcharge applies to rush orders, Weekends and Holidays are not counted as additional days for rush analysis.

Samples that require a rush analysis to meet holding times will be subject to the rush surcharge.

For rush analyses a copy of the report can be sent by FAX or email followed by the original by US Mail (if requested).

When can I submit samples?

Clients can submit samples to the lab within our normal working hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sample pickup and delivery can be arranged at an additional charge.

If samples must be delivered outside of the normal working hours, prior notification for confirmation of acceptance is required. It is advisable to call 30 min. in advance before dropping sample at the lab to make sure there is a person on duty at the time of delivery.

Do you provide sampling supplies?

Bottles with or without preservatives (as requested) and shipping containers can be provided at no charge if requested. Shipment can also be arranged at an additional charge. Specific sampling instructions are also available.

How do I ship samples to you?

Samples collected for analysis are subject to strict holding time and temperature requirements, samples must be shipped the same day they are collected and shipped via overnight service such as UPS, FedEx, DHL or Airborne. 

See the Sampling Guide page for proper bottles, preservatives, volumes, holding times and temperature and sampling instructions.

What Quality Control procedures are used?

The analytical procedures, from the sampling to the reporting, follow strict Quality Control operations, as reflected in the Quality Assurance Manual. 

The Quality Assurance Program includes control of sample containers, preparation, analyses of blanks, matrix spikes, duplicates, certified check samples, proficiency evaluation and blind check samples, cross-check between different methods, different levels of data reviewing and archiving of QC data.  

Standard Quality Control (Level I) are provided at no charge on analytical report. Other packages can be provided at an additional charge. Quality control packages requested at a later time may incur in higher charges due to data retrieval operations or additional testing requirements. 

Project-specific Quality Assurance requirements (QAPP) can also be accommodated.  Please contact us at 619.276.1558 for more information on Quality Assurance issues.

Do you provide courier and sampling services?

No, but in specific sensitive cases or with large samples number it can be arranged. Please call.

What are the proper bottles to use for the tests I need?

See the Sampling Guide page for proper bottles, preservatives, volumes, holding times and sampling instructions.

How do I know which method to use?

If you are sampling under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), you should use 200-400 series methods for inorganics. (Drinking water systems, delivery point monitoring, receptor and private wells)

If you are sampling under the Clean Water Act (CWA), you should use 200-400 series methods for inorganics.

If you are sampling under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), you should use 3000-, 6000- or 7000-series methods for inorganics. Applications for RCRA are solids, waters and organic wastes associated with disposal or monitoring of disposal sites and waste characterization.

What types of test reports are available?

ACL can provide analytical results and QC data in a variety of hardcopy and electronic standard formats (pdf preferred)

How long do you store samples?

After analyses are completed and a report is issued, the samples are kept for 15 days. After this period we will dispose of non-hazardous samples. 

Samples that are considered hazardous waste as disposed of with licensed waste disposal companies or return to the client. The disposal of hazardous samples might be subject to a fee charged to the client, unless arrangements are made to return or pick up the hazardous samples.

Are RUSH services available?

ACL can provide RUSH services for most methods depending upon laboratory capacity.

Please contact us at 619.276.1558 to schedule RUSH services prior to submission of samples. RUSH surcharges will apply based on the TAT requested and delivered as follows unless otherwise quoted on specific project.

What is the markup for RUSH Turn Around Time (TAT)?

2 hours
4 hours
8 hours
1 day
2-3 days
4 days


After hours/

How do you deliver my results?

Whether you need results via mail, fax, email or other electronic delivery method, we like to accommodate each client's specific needs. Please give us a call at 619.276.1558 so we can set up the right delivery method for you.

Frequently Asked Questions


analytical chemical