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Drinking water and radiation laboratory branch (DWRLB)

Contact DWRLB:

Phone: (510) 620-2911

Fax: (510) 620-2940

Mailing Address:

California Department of Public Health

Drinking Water & Radiation Laboratory Branch

850 Marina Bay Parkway, MS G-164

​​For employment opportunities at DWRLB, contact 510-620-2911.

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 Laboratory SpaceState’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.  Radiochemistry services are provided to the RadiologicLab Testing Assessment Unit, the Environmental Management Branch and public health authorities and emergency responders at the local, State and Federal level. 


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.

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