Environmental Enforcement and Laboratory Services

Water Services program areas include supply, protection, conservation and wastewater

Environmental Enforcement and Laboratory Services (EELS) is committed to environmental protection through monitoring, enforcement and lab analysis activities in support of Regional, Provincial and Federal legislation.

This includes:


  • ISO 17025 accredited
  • Accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) to ISO 17025 for tests listed on the EELS scope of accreditation
  • Licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in 2003 for all drinking water tests performed at EELS

 photos of laboratory, protection sign and oil spill

Analytical and Laboratory Services

Laboratory Services performs:

  • Biological testing that includes E.coli, Total Coliforms and Heterotrophic Plate Count 
  • Inorganic analysis to identify inorganic parameters or limits in environmental samples including nitrate, nitrite, chloride, fluoride, sulphate, nutrients, and metals
  • Organic analysis for parameters including chlorination by-products, pesticides, herbicides, 1-4 Dioxane, industrial contaminates, and gasoline by-products

 Each year the laboratory typically:

  • Processes 45,000 samples and performs over 240,000 tests
  • Performs 33,000 bacterial tests
  • Identifies and measures 90 organic chemical compounds
  • Tests for 61 different inorganic chemical compounds
  • Samples 23,000 locations for the drinking water program and monitors 100 industrial locations
  • Processes over 24,000 samples and completes 29,000 analytical field tests
  • Conducts lab and field tests for drinking water, wastewater and industrial monitoring programs
  • Provides analytical services to other Regional and municipal special projects and investigations

Private well water testing

Through the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Environmental Enforcement and Laboratory Services tests water samples submitted by private well owners in Waterloo Region. Private well owners are responsible for testing their drinking water. Information on free testing is available from the Region of Waterloo Public Health.

Environmental Enforcement

Industrial monitoring and Sewer Use By-law enforcement

The Sewer Use By-law 1-90 regulates and controls the discharge of water and wastewater into the sanitary and/or storm sewer distribution system within Waterloo Region. The chemical and physical limits outlined in the By-law protect the wastewater distribution system, the wastewater treatment plant operation and ultimately the water quality of the Grand River. 

Responsibilities of EELS include:

  • Monitoring commercial wastewater discharge to ensure compliance with the By-law
  • Investigating conditions that adversely affect the Region's wastewater treatment plants and ensuring corrective actions when a problem is identified
  • Conducting company surveys to understand requirements of ongoing monitoring
  • Performing routine company inspections

Environmental Spills Response

EELS initiate prompt investigation of any reported spills in Waterloo Region and when required, initiate containment or cleanup measures in order to minimize the adverse effects of the spill on the natural environment.

EELS Field Services provide a 24 hour emergency response to environmental spills to ensure any environmental spill occurring in Waterloo Region does not adversely affect the environment or violate the Region of Waterloo Sewer Use By-law. When a chemical spill has the potential to impact the Mannheim or Brantford drinking water treatment plants, EELS must notify the affected parties so preventative measures can be taken.

Find out how to report a spill and learn more about spills prevention and response.

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Client Connect (login required)

This website is only available to Region of Waterloo Environmental Enforcement and Laboratory Services clients with approved logins.  Enter the LIMS Client Connect website to access your data and related documents.