Drinking Water and Radiation Laboratory Branch
DWRLB Branch Chief: Shiyamalie Ruberu, Ph.D.
DWRLB is California’s primary drinking water quality testing laboratory and is the only State laboratory capable of measuring environmental radiation. Its primary missions are to provide analytical services, reference measurements and technical support to the
State’s drinking water program and Radiologic Health Program. DWRLB also provides emergency public health laboratory services, for example, serving as a surge laboratory for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DWRLB tests water for toxic metals, such as lead and arsenic, anions such as nitrate, fluoride and cyanide, organic contaminants, such as pesticides and petroleum products, and microbial contaminants, such as fecal indicator bacteria. The Radiochemistry Unit measures radioactivity in environmental samples and identifies and quantifies naturally-occurring and man-made radionuclides. The Biomonitoring Unit provides clinical testing of toxic substances and their metabolites in human specimens. All DWRLB units prepare to respond to public health emergencies resulting from natural causes, accidents, or acts of terrorism.
DWRLB provides drinking water laboratory services to the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water’s 22 District Offices through a multiyear contract. Radiochemist Assessment Unit, the Environmental Management Branch and public health authorities and emergency responders at the local, State and Federal level. ry services are provided to the Radiologic
DWRLB has a single laboratory in Richmond and is organized into two sections: the Chemistry & Radiochemistry Section and the Microbiology & Biomonitoring Section. Within these Sections are four units: the Chemistry Unit, the Radiochemistry Unit, the Biomonitoring Unit and the Microbiology Unit.