Exempt Job Descriptions
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Water Testing Laboratory Analyst

Job Summary

The Water Testing Laboratory Analyst is responsible for performing microbiological
analysis of drinking water samples in the MSU Water Testing Laboratory within the College
of Science and Technology.  Duties include analysis of drinking water and assisting with a
quality assurance program as required by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the
Kentucky Division of Water.  The analyst will be required to follow guidelines for receiving
samples, maintaining laboratory sample quality control logs, preparing samples for processing,  performing sample analysis,  quality control of media and instruments, and making final evaluations  of all water samples received by the laboratory.  The analyst will also be responsible for the  submittal of compliance documents to the Division of Water.  In addition, the analyst must obtain
12 CEU’s  in water quality every two years and pass a set of Proficiency Test Samples received from  a USEPA certified provider. The MSU Water Testing Laboratory is the State of Kentucky’s  Principal Microbiology Laboratory and is a USEPA certified laboratory.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Performs microbiological analysis on water samples as well as quality control
     procedures as approved by the USEPA.  (See USEPA Laboratory Certification Manual,
     5th edition, #EPA 815-R-05-004).
  • Must have knowledge of how to analyze every microbiological contaminant included
    in the Drinking Water Regulations (40 CFR 142.10(b)(4)).
  • Responsible for maintaining the integrity of all samples, i.e., tracking samples from
    the time they are received by the laboratory through analysis and reporting of results
    to the appropriate agencies (chain of custody).
  • Must be capable of processing samples by the membrane filtration technique and
    Colilert method as described in Standard Methods for the Analysis of Drinking Water
    and Wastewater, 20th edition and USEPA Laboratory Certification Manual 5th edition,
    EPA # 815-R-05-004, January 2005.
  • Standardizes all necessary reagents and calibrates equipment.
  • Prepares and performs quality control procedures on all media needed to process
    water samples.
  • Must notify proper authorities (regional and main offices of the Division of Water and
    Public Water Systems) of unsatisfactory results and necessary re-sampling procedures
    required within 4 hours of detecting the presence of total coliforms or E. coli in a
    drinking water compliance sample.
  • Responsible for submittal of compliance monitoring reports to the Division of Water,
    hard copies or electronically.
  • Responsible for developing the electronic submittal program for the MSU Water
    Testing Laboratory used for submittal of compliance monitoring to the Division of
  • Assist in the disposal of biohazardous waste materials under the direction of the
    Laboratory Quality Assurance Manager.
  • Will assist with preparing for and taking part in the laboratory’s audit by the USEPA
    Region IV Office Microbiology Team.
  • Will perform annual set of Proficiency Samples as required by the USEPA and the
    Kentucky Division of Water.  Should the analyst fail the PT set more than twice this would  be grounds for dismissal.
  • Will perform blind samples, prepared by the Quality Assurance Manager, two times
    per year for both methods (Membrane Filter and Colilert) for which the laboratory is
    certified to use by the USEPA.
  • Responsible for training and overseeing the work of student workers.
  • Trains student workers in the proper use and operation of laboratory equipment, such
    as sterilizer, vacuum pump, incubator, balance, conductivity meter, pH meter and
    UV box.
  • Must attend and successfully pass the new analyst workshop as required by the Kentucky
    Division of Water’s Laboratory Certification Program
  • Must complete twelve hours (12) of continuing education course work every two years
    to remain a certified analyst in the state of Kentucky.
  • Must attend MSU computer workshops needed for completing work requirements
    within the Water Testing Laboratory.
  • Maintains efficient office filing system for public water sample compliance data.
  • Must follow all Water Testing Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures as written as well as the Laboratory’s Quality Control Manual.
  • Must inform Quality Assurance Manager of any malfunctions with equipment or when equipment or supplies need to be ordered.
  • May be necessary to work some evenings and weekends if samples are required to be
    processed or interpreted and reported to the Division of Water hotline.
  • Assist with preparation of the Water Testing Laboratory Annual Report to be submitted
    to the Dean of the College of Science and Technology.


  • Performs other duties as assigned by Supervisor.

Organizational Relationships

The Water Testing Laboratory Analyst reports to the Manager of the Quality Assurance
Program in the MSU Water Testing Laboratory, the Kentucky Laboratory Certification Officer, and  the Dean of the College of Science and Technology.

Minimum Requirements

Masters of Science degree required with courses in microbiology and chemistry.  Requires
technical competence as well as analytical skills.  Must have good computer skills and capable of
submitting compliance reports via electronic submittal system.  A minimum of two years experience
in a water testing laboratory as an analyst with ninety (90) days of bench experience and
thirty (30) days under a certified analyst as required by the USEPA Laboratory Certification Manual,
5th edition preferred.

Additional Desirable Qualifications

Background in the isolation and detection of water borne organisms such as Giardia,
Cryptosporidium, Legionella, etc., by USEPA specified methods.  Ability to effectively interact
and communicate with people.  Must be willing to attend workshops and training sessions
periodically to become familiar with new methodologies and regulations required for the analysis of  drinking and environmental water samples.

Working Conditions and Atmosphere

Normal laboratory environment, however, frequent interruptions should be anticipated
due to telephone inquiries, visitors, and customers.  Some pressure should be expected in this job
due to the significance of test results and deadlines that must be met.  Analyst will be expected to  take call on weekends and evenings due to analysis of water samples as required by the Division of
water when water treatment problems occur.