» UKAS Announces first MCERTS Waters Accreditations

17 June, 2010

The first accreditations have been granted for wastewater sampling and testing by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This is the result of two years of work with the Environment Agency developing a framework for accreditation under the Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS). Eighteen applicants have now been accredited to undertake sampling and chemical testing of waters, in accordance with a timeline announced in September 2008.

The MCERTS (Waters) standard is an application of ISO/IEC 17025 (General requirements of the competence of testing and calibration laboratories). The standard was designed to underpin confidence in the analysis of untreated sewage, treated sewage effluents and trade effluents. UKAS accreditation will act as an assurance that the data produced by accredited organisations is reliable. Furthermore, MCERTS aims to promote the professional reputation of staff and organisations involved in sewage and effluent testing.

Mike Healy, Technical Advisor for Releases Monitoring from the Environment Agency said ‘The Water Companies have permits that require them to use organisations accredited for MCERTS (Waters) for sampling and analysis of effluents by 1st July 2010 and the feedback I have received from Agency Officers so far has been positive regarding effluent sampling.’

Jon Murthy, Marketing Manager at UKAS said: “Testing sewage and effluents is a critical area, and it is vital that the information produced as part of the sampling and analysis process is reliable. The MCERTS scheme is providing a way in which companies can demonstrate they are competent and reliable in this area, having been assessed against rigorous, internationally-recognised standards. UKAS is delighted that so much hard work, in partnership with the Environment Agency, has come to fruition.”