NATA accreditation for Mackay lab

Mackay residents will now be drinking their water with an even greater degree of satisfaction - not that they ever had any doubts. Mackay Regional Council's Water and Waste Services laboratory recently received accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

The accreditation means formal recognition of the lab for the capabilities of its facilities to perform specific tests, inspections, calibrations, and other related activities.

Water and Wastewater Portfolio Councillor Deirdre Comerford said the accreditation is of great benefit to the lab, the Water and Waste Services department and the community as it provides a benchmark for performance through an independent technical evaluation.

"The guidelines set in place by NATA will help ensure the continued supply of safe drinking water for our community," she said.

Water and Waste Services Principal Scientist Stuart Boyd said the overall process to receive the formal accreditation has taken about three years.

"The process involved auditors assessing the quality system documentation as well as a number of on site assessments of the facility and the technical competence of staff," he said. "Having the accreditation now means regular surveillance checks on the facility's operations to ensure consistency and accuracy in the data that is produced."

"It also provides a greater certainty about the data that is used to assess drinking water, as well as the compliance of environmental standards of the disposal of sewage and at landfill sites."

Councillor Comerford said the accreditation is based on international standards including the qualifications, training and experience of staff, equipment maintenance, adequate quality assurance procedures and appropriate sampling practices.

"It's great to see the facility operating at the high standards required receiving the accreditation and I congratulate staff on achieving this milestone," she said.