The Bureau's laboratory personnel, which hold degrees in chemistry, biology, and natural resources, have three main responsibilities.
First, they conduct chemical and bacteriological testing that is legally required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for the Muncie Water Pollution Control Facility (MWPCF). Using the results of these data, managers at the MWPCF make adjustments to the treatment processes ensuring pollutants are not discharged to the White River. Testing is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Pretreatment Program through the determination of chemicals entering the MWPCF. These tests are run on the water coming into and leaving the MWPCF 365 days of the year.
Secondly, the laboratory staff analyze samples collected from local industries which have the potential to discharge toxic chemicals to the MWPCF. This testing, which may be legally mandated by the EPA, IDEM, or Muncie, helps industries ensure that their pretreatment processes are effectively removing harmful pollutants that might otherwise disrupt the functioning of the MWPCF or pass through it and into the White River.
Thirdly, as part of the Bureau's holistic monitoring program intended to see the total environmental picture, the laboratory conducts chemical analyses on water samples from the White River, its tributaries, landfill wells, parking lots, and urban sewers. These tests help measure the combined impact that the city of Muncie and Delaware County have on local streams and help ensure that the community is keeping its committment to clean up and protect water quality and the environment.
To see how water quality has changed since the Bureau was founded, visit the White River Timeline White River Timeline page.