Flexibility and High Capacity
GEL recently managed two high volume soil projects from sites in Arizona and California during the same time period. These projects required us to construct dedicated laboratory facilities to safely and efficiently perform client specific physical sample preparation steps on large volume samples.
The soil projects had very unique labor and time intensive client specific steps for preparing the samples prior to analytical testing. Due to the large volume of soil received for each sample and the multiple preparation steps involved, cross contamination was a primary concern that had to be addressed. In addition to these preparation issues, the projects also had very tight and critical turnaround schedules for reporting of data results. The challenge for the laboratory was to determine how to safely and efficiently accommodate these high volume soil samples and unique preparation requirements within a short turnaround time without impacting other ongoing projects.
GEL Labs Services Provided
GEL’s management team decided to provide dedicated soil preparation laboratories and staff specific to each project. To accomplish this, we modified two mobile laboratories that we had onsite. The modifications to each laboratory were very specific to support the project needs. Examples of the modifications included radiological controls, HEPA filtration systems, air monitors, puck mills for grinding, sieving systems, air controlled drying racks, large counter space areas, drying ovens, segregated waste handling and controlled access.
The laboratory facilities had to be modified, standard operating procedures (SOPs) prepared, dedicated staff trained and quality start-up tests performed within a one month period due to the established project schedules and sample collection dates.
GEL provided the two sample preparation areas within the agreed upon one month start-up period. GEL was audited by both clients to determine that all project specific requirements were in place and that the chemical, radiochemical, industrial hygiene and safety processes/concerns were addressed prior to initiating the projects. Both clients were very impressed by the efforts that GEL put forth to meet their individual project requirements and the dedicated laboratory facilities that were provided.
Both of the projects met the client requirements and exceeded their expectations.
For one of the projects GEL processed over 4,200 soil samples in fourteen months. The second project was even larger and we processed 6,200 soil samples in thirteen months. Both projects were performed safely, on time and with no sample cross-contamination. The best result was the strong relationship established with both clients. They recognized that GEL had taken extensive measures to meet their project requirements and accomplished it on a tight schedule.
These projects demonstrated the value of involving the laboratory early in the project planning schedule. With early access to the project information, GEL was able to assess the situation and propose a solution that met the client's needs.