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Environmental Microbiology & Toxicology Testing

Testing to support the environmental health and safety of NSW communities.

About our Environmental Microbiology & Toxicology Testing service

Our Environmental Microbiology & Toxicology teams are part of NSW Health Pathology’s Forensic & Analytical Science Service (FASS).

They provide specialised microbiological and chemical testing for NSW Health’s legislative compliance monitoring activities including investigation of possible waterborne-disease outbreaks.

The teams work with NSW Health, the Environmental Health Branch and the Public Health Network to ensure water quality and safety.

Service Overview

NSW Health Pathology, FASS, Water Microbiology Laboratory
  • Tests drinking, recreational, dialysis and waste waters
  • Detects microorganisms including Salmonella and thermophilic Campylobacter pathogens
  • Tests for compliance with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and various NSW Health guidelines.
NSW Health Pathology, FASS, Trace Inorganic Laboratory

Tests for compliance with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for:

  • Physical parameters (pH, turbidity, hardness, total dissolved solids and true colour)
  • Nutrients (phosphorus, sulfate, nitrate and nitrite)
  • Heavy metals (including but not limited to lead, mercury and arsenic)
  • Fluoride in drinking water samples under the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1957.
NSW Health Pathology, FASS, Clinical & Environmental Toxicology Laboratory

The laboratory assists NSW Health testing of e-cigarettes or vapes nicotine and analyses water for:

  • Pesticide residues
  • Algal toxins
  • Disinfection by-products
  • Other organic contaminants.
NSW Health Pathology, FASS, Legionella Reference Laboratory
  • Tests water from high-risk public healthcare facilities in NSW for total Legionella present
  • Where required, determines if L. pneumophilia serogroups 1,2-14 or species are present
  • Works with NSW Health to investigate Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in the community.
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