Central Valley Laboratory Fined for Delayed Reporting of Drinking Water Test Results

SACRAMENTO CA (11/9/2020) – A Central Valley environmental testing laboratory accused of failing
to notify water systems of drinking water samples that exceeded crucial maximum contamination levels
has been fined $18,000 by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Environmental Laboratory
Accreditation Program (ELAP).

Bakersfield-based BC Laboratories. Inc. (BCL) has been the recipient of multiple prior
enforcement actions for this type of violation.

The latest case stems from an ELAP investigation that found two separate instances of failed
notification. Laboratories are required to notify a water system and the State Water Board
within 24 hours if acute contaminants, such as Coliform, E. Coli or nitrate cited in this probe,
exceed the maximum safe level. These contaminants can cause harmful health effects within
hours or days of exposure. Delayed reporting could result in a water system serving unsafe
water to its customers.

On Oct. 16, BCL paid the citation and reported it had taken corrective action, retrained staff
and conducted an internal audit. If BCL does not remain in compliance, ELAP may take further
enforcement action.

Laboratories performing drinking water analyses play a critical role in the protection of public
health and environment and are required to be ELAP-accredited to give regulators confidence
in the data produced. The State Water Board recently adopted new regulations to improve
laboratories and data quality. They are slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Contact: Blair Robertson Blair.Robertson@Waterboards.ca.gov