Northern Michigan Regional Laboratory (NMRL) is located at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan building in Gaylord, MI.The laboratory provides well water testing services to ensure that private and public drinking water sources are safe for consumption. Water testing includes bacterial analysis for fecal organisms; and chemical testing for chloride, fluoride, sodium, iron, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, and hardness. The laboratory tests beach and pool water samples for the presence of fecal bacteria to ensure that local residents and visitors have a pleasant experience in Northern Michigan, and are not exposed to the possibility of disease from contaminated lake or recreational waters.
The NMRL is certified as a drinking water laboratory by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), for water analysis and performs proficiency testing to verify quality results.
Northern Michigan Regional Laboratory (NMRL) has been greatly expanded. It is COLA accredited and CLIA certified to run high complexity testing. It currently offers COVID-19, Neisseria gonorrhea, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas vaginalis testing using real time RT-PCR technology. With three different molecular platforms the regional laboratory can run several tests at once, providing quick and accurate results to our community. All testing is performed by experienced Clinical Laboratory Scientists certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and are very excited to offer a broader test menu soon.
NMRL is also part of a coordinated network of labs participating in the Statewide SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology - Wastewater Evaluation and Reporting (SEWER) Network. This Network is a wastewater monitoring project which conducts COVID-19 wastewater surveillance to measure community infection trends. Individuals infected with COVID-19 shed virus RNA in their stool (CDC), therefore community-level trends, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, can be tracked through wastewater surveillance. This is a valuable tool to guide health departments response efforts. Data is used to allocate testing resources, refine health messaging, and forecast clinical needs at the community level. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has developed the Michigan Covid-19 Wastewater Testing Dashboard to report testing results from the SEWER Network Project.