Laboratory Quality Control,
ARMY ENGINEER DIV OHIO RIVER CINCINNATI
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Quality Control and Quality Assurance cover a wide range of topics even if restricted to the only problem of water analysis it also varies with job responsibility. Quality Control from the viewpoint of the lab manager is not necessarily the same as that of a data user or a requisitioner of lab service. The Corps of Engineers is not in the business of collecting data for tabulation or independent research the data are used to drive operating decisions and quality control programs should keep this in mind. Most importantly, quality control costs money. This report gives some insight into quality control problems in the laboratory so money can be spent wisely. It will cover such topics as the statistical nature of analytical results, the sources of laboratory errors, and the implication of these in data evaluation. It is worth pointing out that quality control is at least in part a philosophical subject and that while cost benefit ratios are often implicit in many quality control decisions, it is not usually taken directly into account in a laboratory doing routine chemical analysis. This report ends with some examples and a few brief guidelines and opinions. Most remarks will be limited to laboratory operations.