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Frequently Asked Questions


What prices do you charge?

You can find our pricing in our menu under Resources>Pricing or by following this link Pricing. Please contact us at info@specialtyanalytical.com. or call at (503) 607-1331.  Discounts are available for multiple samples received at the same time or for long-term contracts. The discounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please call for additional information.

How is Turn Around Time (TAT) calculated?

Turn around time (TAT) starts on the day samples are received at Specialty Analytical. Samples are received Monday through Friday and must be receive prior to 3:00PM Pacific Standard Time.  For Samples received after 3:00 PM PST, the TAT starts on the following working day.  Please note that weekends and holidays are not counted as additional working days.  Please view our office hours and company holidays in Contacts page.

What test methods do you perform?
You can find our Test Method Database in our menu bar. On the Test Method Database page, to the right of the search bar, you can optimize your search based on the following categories: Matrix Description, Category, Method Name, Method Code, and AnalyteName.  

For more information on methods (MetalsOrganicsConventionalsMicrobiology) performed at Specialty Analytical you can find descriptions and references under Laboratory Services.  The test methods used referenced to the published methods by the USEPA and the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Other methods used follow the guidelines of the AASHTO, ASTM, NIOSH and other published methods.

How should I cool my samples?
  • The vast majority of environmental samples need to arrive at the lab between 1°C – 6°C in order to be considered “acceptable” .
  • Ice Packs and Ice are the best options for cooling.
  • Multiple ice packs are needed to ensure everything stays cool. Placing an ice pack on the cooler bottom, on all 4 sides and at the top will help maintain a chilled environment for our samples. Ice pack. size should be relative to cooler size
  • Loose ice-cubes should be placed in Zip-lock bags to contain melting water and then packed around samples.
  • A good rule of thumb: the more ice the better!  Imagine a shipping delay when gaging how much ice to use.
Do you provide sampling supplies?
Specialty Analytical will provide (free of charge) bottles with preservatives and shipping containers, if requested. Shipment of these items to the sampling site can also be arranged. Please contact us about your sampling container needs and we are happy to assist you.
Do you have a List of Acronym Definitions?
Yes we do! You can find them in our Resources page or by following this link Specialty Analytical List of Acronym Definitions.
Do you perform Rush work and what is the cost?
Specialty Analytical provides RUSH services for most methods with some limitation depending on the scope of the method.  Please contact us to schedule RUSH services.  RUSH fees will be applied based on the TAT requested.  Turn Around Time (TAT) is only in working days (M-F) excluding holidays.

The cost breakdown for Rush work can be found under in menu under Resources>Pricing or by following this link to Pricing.

What are short hold tests?

Short hold tests are methods which require samples to be analyzed within a certain time frame from sampling. This typically ranges from 15 min to 48 hours. These samples must be analyzed within this time frame to satisfy method sampling requirements. Howeve,r results will be reported with requested TAT.

What is the difference between Practical Reporting Limit (PQL) and Method Detection Limit (MDL)?

The PQL is the lowest concentration standard in the calibration range of each compound analyzed.  It is the lowest level of quantitation.

The MDL is determined statistically from seven replicate low-level spikes.  The MDL is defined as the minimum concentration of an analyte that can be measured and reported with 99% confidence that the analyte concentration is greater than zero.  It is the limit of detection.  Certain analyses have a different way of determining the MDLs.

Do you provide courier and sampling services?

We provide complimentary courier services which include pickup and drop off. We do not provide any sampling services. If you need sampling services please call and we can refer a sampling specialist.

How long do you store samples?

Samples are stored for 60 days. Samples that need to be returned to client, archiving of samples, or samples that need to be held longer than 60 days need to be requested with your project manager. Samples that may need additional testing also need to be indicated on the COC.

What is the "work order" numbering convention format?

The work order number is for lab use only. Our work order format (YYMMNNN) represents the year (21), the month (04) and the job number logged into our system. The work order numbers (ie 2104001) track your samples through the lab and for invoicing purposes.

How do I set up a credit account with Specialty Analytical?

Terms are Net 30 Days on established accounts. Until proper credit is established, we request prepayment or COD before results are provided. To establish credit, please submit a credit application with current references including telephone and fax numbers. For convenience, credit cards (Mastercard, Visa and American Express) are accepted.

Request a Quote

If you would like us to provide a quote for laboratory analysis, just provide us with information about how we can help you with your project.