The Cooperative Chemical Analytical Laboratory, CCAL, is a cooperative laboratory operated by Oregon State University College of Forestry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. CCAL specializes in high quality, trace level analysis of nutrients, ions, and physical properties of lake, stream, precipitation and groundwater research samples.
CCAL offers reliable analysis of aqueous constituents including ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, total nitrogen, orthophosphorus (SRP), total phosphorus, sulfate, chloride, organic carbon, inorganic carbon, pH, alkalinity, specific conductance, silica, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, silicon, manganese, dissolved solids, suspended sediment and more.
Precise and accurate results are fundamental at CCAL. Our Quality Assurance Program is designed to conform with EPA surface water chemistry criteria, and is a continuous process that monitors every analysis and procedure performed in the laboratory. CCAL participates in the USGS Standard Reference Water Survey Program and the National Water Research Institute’s (NWRI) Environment Canada Proficiency Testing (PT) Program. These external inter-laboratory QA Programs are used to monitor accuracy of analytical procedures at CCAL. The CCAL Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) describes protocols and procedures used in the Laboratory.
CCAL is staffed by a Chemist/laboratory manager, two Chemists, and undergraduate student lab aides. In addition, professors and scientists from Oregon State University and the USDA Forest Service are available for technical support and consultation.
CCAL services are used by many groups including: Oregon State University College of Forestry, other OSU Colleges and Departments, universities and agencies at the local, state and federal level as well as the private sector. Analytical results generated at CCAL have been used in numerous reports and publications.
The integrity of long-term environmental studies depends upon the ability to detect and quantify subtle changes in natural processes. Data produced by CCAL from a standardized set of protocols allows direct comparisons among diverse studies, creating a legacy of data that grows with each new study. By standardizing detection and measurement of the chemical and physical properties of water, and by eliminating the need and expense of establishing duplicate facilities, CCAL operations are beneficial to both cooperative and individual research projects.