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About Us
Environmental Monitoring Lab

​​​​Mission Statement

The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory’s mission is to design and implement scientific surveys, monitoring programs and investigations in support of agency efforts to better manage and protect County environmental resources and ensure compliance to environmental regulations. We are a NELAP certified laboratory, dedicated to providing quality data and service to better protect the environment.

Our role is to assess Broward County's surface waters and provide technical basis for the development of policies that protect and maximize their designated uses. In addition; to facilitate public awareness,  understanding, and appreciation for our unique, urban watershed.

Program Description

The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory is responsible for the science needs of the Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division with regard to the lakes, rivers, and canals of Broward County. Surface water quality is assessed based on data collected and analyzed by our Environmental Teams, at ambient monitoring stations located throughout the County. A variety of surface water quality parameters are monitored including but not limited to; dissolved oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll, bacteria, turbidity, volatile organic compounds and metals. The results are compared with standards outlined in Broward County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 27, Article V. These data are used to identify trends and are the basis of surface water management policy. This program also coordinates technical comments relating to pollution loading in waterways and ecosystem restoration. Additionally, the surface water assessment program interacts with the public to provide information and answer questions about Broward County's water resources. Our public outreach projects afford hands-on experience for children and adults to learn about our waterways. By making information available to the public and educating through outreach, we hope to promote responsible use and preservation of Broward County's waters.

What is Surface Water in Broward County?

With over 1800 miles of fresh and estuarine waterways, and thousands of lakes, Broward County has an abundance of surface waters that are used for a variety of purposes by the people who live here, those who visit, and by the fish and wildlife that also depend on these waters.

Although we have a few natural, freshwater ponds and remnant rivers such as the Middle and New Rivers , the majority of our waterways are man-made canals and storm water management lakes. Significant drainage needs of south Florida for land development and flood control in the early 1900's resulted in the construction of an extensive canal network throughout Broward County. Our seven primary canals and numerous secondary and tertiary canals provide flood control and water supply protection for the area's enormous growth and development. Storm water management lakes are also used for flood protection as well as storm water treatment, and are created by removing rock to build up the surrounding land for homes. In addition to the canals and lakes, to the east we have the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and other tidally influenced water bodies. These coastal waterways are brackish, meaning they are part saltwater and part freshwater.

Special Projects and Issues

  1. The Historical Water Quality Atlas
  2. North Fork of the New River
  3. Broward Urban River Trails (BURT)
  4. Urban Institute of Environmental Studies
  5. ​Marine Industries Association of South Florida's ​Annual Waterway Clean-up 


The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory was founded in the early 1970's and has grown to a 10,000 square feet state of the art LEED facility. The laboratory utilizes the most advanced technology and equipment to provide expert service to the community. The Laboratory is located on the University of Florida campus in Davie,  FL.

Laboratory staff regularly collect samples at various monitoring sites selected by state, county and federal governments to ensure proper monitoring and assessments can be completed. In addition, the laboratory provides technical and contract support to other county, state and local agencies.  Analysts develop and implement projects, interpret data and report results of theses studies to interested regulatory entities and the general public. Regulatory changes are implemented through a number of programs including the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program and Everglades Restoration Program. 

The Environmental Monitoring Lab analyzes for a number of parameters in solid, surface and ground waters, including; extractable organics, nutrients, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), microbial parameters and physical properties of the samples.  In addition, the laboratory is certified for the identification of Fecal Coliform, E. Coli and Enterococci in surface waters to comply with the needs of cities and municipalities as part of the NPDES Program. The laboratory also implemented a Microbial Source Tracking (MST) program to identify sources of pollutants in our waterways and the best way to reduce their impacts

Directions to The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory:
From I-95, take I-595 west to Davie Rd. Go south on Davie Rd. and turn right/west onto Nova Drive.  From Nova Drive, turn left/south onto College Avenue. On College Avenue turn right at the blue sign for the University of Florida (3205 College Ave.).  Once on campus, the Laboratory is the second building on the right, just past the yellow University of Florida building.​

Technical Reports

The following .pdf reports, related to water quality, are available on the DPEP Technical Reports webpage, or can be obtained by calling the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory:
  • Assessing the Effects of Hydrating Snake Warrior's Island Natural Area with Urban Storm Water
  • Assessing the Effects of Hydrating Snake Warrior's Island Natural Area with Urban Storm Water Appendices 1-4
  • The Occurrence of Metals in Broward County Waterways
  • An Investigation of Water Quality Complaints in the Kingfisher Canal, Deerfield Beach, FL
  • Summary of Bacteriological Testing in the Las Olas Isles
  • Implementation of a Chemical Method for Differentiating Human and Animal Fecal impacts in Surface Waters and Sediments
  • A Survey of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Port Everglades Surface Waters
  • A Survey of the Occurrence and Distribution of Volatile Organic Compounds in Broward County Surface Waters
  • A Second Survey of the Occurrence and Distribution of Volatile Organic Compounds in Broward County Surface Waters
  • New River Restoration Plan 1994
  • New River Restoration Plan Update; Activities & Accomplishments from 1991-2000
  • Water and Sediment Quality of the Lakes at Vista View Park
  • Technical Report Series TR: 05-01 Metals in Fish From the North Fork of the New River

What Can I Do To Protect Water Quality?

  • Do's and Don'ts Around the Business
  • Do a Number On Cleaning Up the New River
  • Where Should the Water Go?
  • Get involved and participate in Water Matters Day with Broward County

For More Information

Call the Environmental Lab at 954-519-1240 or go to the Publications Page Weather/Storm LinksWeather/Storm Links