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HDR Environmental Laboratory

Civil and Environmental Engineering environmental test lab

The HDR Environmental Laboratory is located in Crothers Engineering and was designed to perform three major functions: teaching, analysis and research. The laboratory is certified by the State of South Dakota and the Environmental Protection Agency for work primarily in the area of water and wastewater.

The teaching portion of the facility contains chemical resistant tables with power, whiteboard and projector. The analysis area of the laboratory is used to provide analytical services for clients and researchers. The research area of the laboratory contains space for graduate work, a ventilated room for biological research and an area with a high ceiling to accommodate pilot plant work.

The analytical services are managed by a full time senior chemist that also assists research projects and trains students that work in the lab. The analytical services portion also employs a half-time research assistant to help with analysis.  The lab manager is under the direction of the Water and Environmental Engineering Research Center (WEERC) director.  Services are performed on a fee basis for the public, private industry, researchers and municipalities. Analytical services are centered primarily on water and wastewater samples.

The laboratory contains many amenities consistent with a typical environmental laboratory. In addition to these amenities, the laboratory has several pieces of research and analytical equipment including but not limited to the following:

  • Ion-Couple Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer for measuring metals at the parts per million and parts per billion concentrations.
  • Ion Chromatograph with an anion column for measuring anions like nitrate, sulfate and phosphate.
  • Total Organic Halogen Analyzer for measuring disinfection byproducts.
  • Total Organic Carbon Analyzer.
  • Biochemical Oxidation Demand Analyzer complete with dissolved oxygen probe and data logger and analyzer.
  • Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer.
  • Aerobic/Anaerobic respirometer for measuring biodegradation kinetics for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.
  • Other equipment consistent with water and wastewater laboratories including stir plates, burets, pipettes, glassware, ovens, furnaces, incubators, vacuum filters, shaker table and others.
  • Gas Chromatograph–Electron Capture Detector for measuring disinfection byproducts.
  • Gas Chromatograph–Mass Spectrometer for measuring volatile organic compounds in water, air and soil.

Most of the research conducted in the laboratory is related to the treatment of both water and wastewater.  Research is primarily conducted by graduate and undergraduate students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Focus area of research include: biological nutrient removal, membrane processes for treatment of wastewater, formation and treatment of disinfection byproducts, surface and ground water quality measurements and treatment of runoff water.