Cel-A maintains accreditation through the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) and all testing meets the standards of the California Department of Health Services (DHS). Cel-A employs multiple PhD scientists, highly trained analysts, and experienced field engineers, for a combined work experience that spans the fields of microbiology, chemistry, molecular biology, and engineering. For a complete list of Cel-A’s capabilities in any of the fields below – as well as our current ELAP certification – see the ‘Compliance and Official Methods’ section under 'Lab Services'.



Cel-A routinely monitors surface water and drinking water at the local and state level, and ensures that our clients comply with EPA requirements defined in the ‘Total Coliform Rule’ and the ‘Surface Water Treatment Rule’.

In addition to compliance monitoring, Cel-A maintains accreditation for a wide range of methods developed by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the American Public Health Association (APHA).

Common microbiology techniques include:

  • Multiple-Tube Fermentation/Most Probable Number (MPN)
  • Membrane Filtration Techniques
  • Presence/Absence Methods
  • Heterotrophic plate counts
  • Bacteriophage Detection
  • Pathogen Detection - Class A and Class B Biosolids
  • Pathogen Detection - Drinking Water and Wastewater


Molecular Techniques

Cel-A uses quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) for the amplification of DNA/RNA to provide our clients with faster and more accurate pathogen identification than traditional microbiological methods. Cel-A is proud to be one of five national laboratories awarded a contract by the USEPA to validate molecular techniques for water quality indicators.

Using our extensive molecular biology background, Cel-A can design pathogen-specific molecular assays to address the individual needs of our clients. Some of the pathogens that Cel-A has recently tested by molecular analysis include:

  • Noroviruses
  • Enteroviruses
  • Adenovirus
  • Vibrio species
  • Enterohemorrhagic E. coli, including E. coli O157:H7
  • Enterococci
  • Bacteroides ssp and human marker HF183F
  • Cryptosporidium


Cell Culture Systems

Cel-A currently offers tissue culture assay(s) for evaluating cytotoxicity of biological contaminants in food and environmental samples. Cel-A offers both standard and provisionally approved methods for evaluating cytotoxicity of a contaminate in a sample,  total culturable virus assays (TCVA) for enteric viruses in water and can assist our clients in developing specific assays to meet their project needs.


Immunochemistry Techniques

Detection of certain pathogens such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and some chemicals including toxins produced by Cyanobacteria (algaes) in water require application of specialized antibody-based detection systems. Cel-A routinely monitor for these pathogens or chemicals using the following techniques:


  • Immunomagnetic Separation (MS) / Fluorescense Microscopy - for detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in source water and wastewater.
  • Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)-for detection of Cyanobacteria  toxins in source water and surface water.
  • Chemiluminescence assays - for detection chemicals such as estrogen and dioxin in water.



Chemical analysis are performed on a variety of environmental matrix types, including soil, water, sediment/biosolids.


Common analytical chemistry techniques include:

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) for total metal determination (CAM-17)
  • Toxicity characteristics leaching procedures (TCLP)
  • Soluble Threshold Leaching Concentration (STLC)
  • Wet chemistry (gravimetric, titrimetric, electrochemical, pH, chlorine, hardness, alkalinity and conductivity)


For organics pollutants, radioactivity, and toxicity evaluations, Cel-A works closely with local certified laboratories that specialized in perform these analyses.



82 Mary Street, Suite 2 | San Francisco, CA 94103 | Tel. (415) 882-1690 | Fax. (415) 882-1685

All rights reserved - Cel Analytical - 2016