Navigating the Clean Water Act with SPL's Environmental Services Division

The urbanization of our societies and industrial revolution created an environment which threatened the health and safety of many water resources in the United States. In order to reverse this trend, the United States took a step forward in the mid-20th century by implementing the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in an effort to ensure the protection of our waters.  This Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972, and has commonly become known as the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act implemented required steps, with the goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the United States.  While several specific goals were included in the Act very broadly, the objectives were to eliminate discharge of pollutants and restore water quality. By implementing these steps and maintaining our waters to the Act’s requirements, we would ensure that fish and wildlife were protected and waters were safe for recreation.  Much of this process is managed through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which provides the framework for permitting discharges to surface waters of the United States.

A critical element of the permitting process of the NPDES program is performing a laboratory analysis of the water being discharged.  Understanding and meeting the requirements specified in a permit can present challenges, particularly for entities for whom this is a new process.

SPL’s Environmental Services Division can be a valuable resource in helping to meet these requirements.  Our deep experience stretches back to the beginning of the Clean Water Act in the 1970’s.  We have the technical experience to assist with understanding the sampling and analytical requirements necessary to ensure compliance with your discharge permits.  This can include:

  • A review of your permit to ensure sample collection frequency and method of sample collection are understood.
  • Implementing scheduled sample collection by our experience field sampling technicians.
  • Ensuring that proper sample containers and preservatives are utilized.
  • Performing required laboratory analyses specified in the permit.
  • Performing a review of historical analytical data to identify potential anomalies.
  • Providing services to complete DMRs, if needed.
  • Assisting your team with technical problem solving related to operations and laboratory analysis.
  • Protection of our vital water resources requires action at all levels of our society.  The necessity for clean water in virtually all aspects of our daily lives reminds us of the importance of protecting this resource.

    To learn more about SPL’s Environmental Services and how we can assist you with your needs contact us at

    Joel Grice
    Executive Vice President, Environmental Services

    Mr. Grice currently serves as an Executive Vice President for SPL.  Mr. Grice obtained a degree in Microbiology from Texas Tech University.  Since then he has spent over thirty years in the commercial analytical laboratory sector. During this tenure he has held a variety of roles from laboratory analyst to executive management. In his current role, Mr. Grice is working with his team to expand SPL’s environmental testing footprint.