Organic Chemistry Branch

Organic Chemistry Branch Manager: Edith Henderson

Located in the Central Chemistry Laboratory building in Raleigh, NC, the Organic Chemistry Branch is comprised of two analytical units, including an organics extraction group.


The branch is responsible for analyzing environmental samples (surface and ground water, soil, sediment, UST) for semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds, including herbicides, pesticides and PFAS (i.e., per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These organic parameters are analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) instrumentation. Detection levels are at the parts per billion and parts per trillion levels.


The branch's clients include DWR offices and programs, the Division of Waste Management's Underground Storage Tank (UST) section, universities, and federal agencies (USGS, Fish & Wildlife).

Links to Analytical and Support Units

Semi-Volatile Organics Unit (includes Sample Extractions/Preparations, SVOA, Herbicides, Pesticides and PFAS)

Volatile Organics Unit

Support Unit

Sample Types

The Central Chemistry Laboratory analytical units and the regional laboratory analyze water samples collected from a variety of sources across North Carolina that include:

  • Surface water: lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, canals, stormwater, wetlands
  • Ground water: monitoring wells, water supply wells
  • Waste: effluent/influent from waste treatment facilities, animal waste, spill situations
  • Underground Storage Tanks (UST). 

PFAS Contact:


Allen Martin - Lead Chemist

Helpful Web-Links:

Sample Collection and Submittal - Forms and Guidance for Collection of Samples and Submittal to the WSS Chemistry Laboratory.

Supplies - How to Order Supplies for Sample Collection/Preservation; fees list.

Quality Assurance Unit - QA Officer, Data Qualifier Codes, Analytical Methods and Practical Quantitation Limits.

Technical Assistance - VOA Bottle Labeling / Trip Blanks


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