IDNR Laboratory Certification



The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) certifies environmental laboratories throughout the United States for the Clean Water Act (CWA) [wastewater (WW)], drinking water (SDWA), solid waste or contaminated sites (SW/CS) and underground storage tank (UST) environmental programs. The SHL provides technical support as the laboratory appraisal authority.


Certification in Iowa is a two-year fee-based system based upon the major analytical groups within each environmental program. When certified, the laboratory is certified for a specific method and for a specific analyte or analyte group. The program also provides the opportunity to become certified for a specific analyte group across multiple environmental programs. For example, a lab may acquire certification for IOCs within the wastewater, drinking water and contaminated sites programs at a reduced fee.

Applying for Certification

Typically, laboratories wishing to become certified contact the department certification officer directly. A complete application form tailored to the laboratory's needs is sent to the laboratory. (See Contacts for phone numbers and mailing addresses.) A complete application must also include copies of all Proficiency Testing (PTs) for each method analyte to be certified.

Once a completed application is received, it will normally take approximately 60 days to complete the process and issue a certificate. One cannot begin reporting results to IDNR until the certificate has been issued. Any samples analyzed and/or reported before the date of certification will be rejected by the IDNR data management system and place the client at risk of receiving a monitoring violation.

Maintaining Certification

Certification Renewal

Laboratory Certification is for a two-year period from the date of certification. Ninety days prior to that expiration date, the IDNR will issue a lab-specific application package, based upon prior certification parameters. Sent by the Hygienic Lab, the application package and fees must be returned within 30 days of receipt to the IDNR certification officer.

The applicant/laboratory is encouraged to contact the IDNR certification officer for all issues relating to the certification. The laboratory may contact the State Hygienic Laboratory appraisal officer and staff for technical questions. All applications forms, fees and documentation (including PT data) must be submitted to the IDNR certification officer. The IDNR forwards all pertinent information to SHL.


Reciprocal certification may be granted to non-resident laboratories for environmental analysis provided they meet the same criteria as resident laboratories.