The lab has analyzed nearly 7,000 water samples since opening
Illinois State University is searching for opportunities to expand the Laboratory for Environmental Analysis. The lab is heavily involved in water quality research and has analyzed roughly 7,000 water samples to this point.
The lab, which opened a year ago, currently monitors quality for Lake Bloomington and Evergreen Lake, two reservoirs affected by agricultural runoff near the university’s home in Normal, Ill.
Potential expansion for the laboratory would afford the operation resources that may be used to broaden the types of analysis it will be able to enact, such as testing for dissolved organic carbon and suspended organic carbon, aiding in the study of algal blooms in the lakes under their purview.
According to Lab Director Bill Perry, understanding what triggers these blooms in the lakes would allow the city to know when to store extra water.
“This laboratory… provides local and regional scientists access to affordable analytical facilities that was not available before,” said Perry, who also added the university is attempting to develop a water center in conjunction with sociology professor Joan Brehm. The water center would enact collaborative research on a breadth of water issues.