The Institute of Applied Sciences at the University of the South Pacific in partnership with the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) National Water Quality Laboratory sponsored a week long training for several of their staff members on Nutrient Analysis Methods and troubleshooting of the Flow Injection Analyzer (FIA Nutrient Analyzer).
The training which was held at the IAS Analytical Laboratory was conducted by Ms Tracey Jary, an expert on nutrient analyses from Cawthron Institute, New Zealand.
During the course the methods for Nutrient analysis were reviewed together with evaluating sample suitability and interferences and reagent preparations. Systems Checks, Maintenance and Troubleshooting of the FIA were also covered in detail by the trainer.
Nutrients which include ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and phosphate are important in monitoring water quality both potable and effluent. As nutrient concentrations increases, surface water quality is degraded through the process of eutrophication. The IAS Laboratory uses the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water as a check for quality and nutrients are amongst the many parameters monitored. Also the Government of Fiji has a Liquid Waste Standard which industries and the likes must adhere to. The continuous proper functioning of the FIA plus the upskilling of technical personnel becomes vital in fulfilling IAS’s role as a reference laboratory and the endeavor to continue to improve on its laboratory services. Professor Aalbersberg, the Director IAS stated that the training is evidence of USP’s collaboration with its strategic partners such as WAF in the quest for improved monitoring of water quality for the benefit of the health of the public as well as IAS’s commitment to continuous improvement of its staff.