Paul Smith’s College gets state certification for water testing lab

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. (WCAX) - The Adirondack Watershed Institute, a research lab at Paul Smith’s College, is celebrating a new state certification that will allow them to help communities all over the Adirondack Park.

At the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, the 14 staff members are working year-round researching different waterways in the Adirondacks

“Our fisheries, our aquatic plants, waterfowl, but also for our human communities here in the Adirondacks that depend on clean water for drinking, recreation, and jobs,” said the institute’s Dan Kelting.

It is the largest lake monitoring program in the region, keeping track of water quality for over 80 lakes in the Adirondack Park. “Certainly, we have climate change, we have invasive species, we have road salt pollution, we have nutrient pollution from faulty septic systems, we have sedimentation from improper development,” Kelting said.

But until now, the data gathered was not used for any state-funded grant programs because it wasn’t a state-certified environmental lab. “It’s a process. It really takes a long time to become certified,” Kelting said. But after a year-and-a-half of trying, last week they got the greenlight. “Provide that level and quality, and now we are the only lab in the Adirondacks than can do that.”

The way they work hasn’t changed but Kelting says the certification isn’t retroactive when it comes to past data. But going forward, he says it will make a difference. “They can actually add all the data we collect from our lakes and our streams to that large data set so that allows the state to do larger assessments than they could do before,” he said.

All part of their mission to protect clean water and promote healthy watersheds.

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