Frequently Asked Questions

What time is ChemCentre open?

ChemCentre is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday and closed on public holidays.

Is ChemCentre part of Curtin University?

ChemCentre is located on Curtin University's Bentley Campus, however, our company is not part of Curtin University.

Choosing Tests and Analytes

Can you tell me what to test for?

We can provide some general advice regarding testing. If you require professional recommendations on a detailed written report, then a professional consulting service may be required. 

How do I work out what to test for?

If you are unsure what to test for, please contact us at ChemCentre to discuss your situation and circumstances and our staff may be able to help you decide what analysis is required. We can also refer you to relevant guidelines or regulatory bodies.  

I have an unidentified substance and don’t know what it is. Can you find out for me?

Please contact us before submitting your sample. If your sample is unidentified and requires investigation, we may be able to narrow down the breadth of tests required to identify what your sample might be. 

Can you perform a chemical analysis on our residential tap water used for drinking?

Our experts are here to help! We can test household water, bore water and other potable water sources and compare the results to drinking water, irrigation or stock guidelines highlighting anything over-range. Please see our Household Drinking Water page for more information or contact us now to organise testing and speak to an expert to organise the analysis.

How do I know if I can drink my water? How do I know if my livestock can drink my water?

There is no single answer for these questions, as circumstances will differ for each situation.  If you have concerns about the quality of your water, we recommend you call ChemCentre on (08) 9422 9800 where a member of the Client Services team will be able to discuss your individual requirements with you. See our Household Drinking Water page for information on drinking water, water for livestock and potable water.

How can I tell if my soil is contaminated?

There is no single answer for this question, as circumstances will differ for each situation.  If you have concerns about the quality of your soil, we recommend you call ChemCentre on (08) 9422 9800 where a member of the Client Services team will be able to discuss your individual requirements with you. See our Household hazards page for information on tests we frequently complete for members of the public.

Scope of Testing

Do you test for bacteria?

ChemCentre does not carry out bacteriological testing in-house, however, we do use accredited laboratories for subcontracting microbiological testing. While we don’t offer microbiological testing, ChemCentre can include these services as a subcontracted option, along with a more comprehensive suite of tests performed in-house. However, if you require microbiological testing only, we suggest you contact PathWest for this analysis.

Do you do asbestos testing?

No, ChemCentre does not carry out commercial testing for asbestos in-house, however we do use trusted accredited laboratories for subcontracting. A list of accredited laboratories offering asbestos testing in Western Australia is available by searching the NATA website.

While we don’t offer asbestos testing, ChemCentre can arrange for these services as a subcontracted option, along with a more comprehensive suite of tests performed in-house.

Do you offer gamma irradiation for quarantine/biosecurity purposes?

We do Gamma irradiation, however, our chamber size only has a small 2L capacity (like a small Milo tin) and is unable to irradiate large samples.

If you have a large shipment, our suggestion is to contact Steritech in the Eastern States as they accommodate large sample sizes:

Unfortunately, there is no facility in WA that irradiates on a large scale.


Do you test for mould?

Unfortunately, mould testing is not within our scope of analysis.

Do you test for algae?

Algae testing is not conducted at ChemCentre.

Dalcon Environmental is a specialist laboratory that may be able to assist.

Do you test for Dieback/Phytophthora?

Unfortunately, this testing is outside our scope.

The laboratories listed below may be able to assist:

Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management

Centre for Crop Disease and Management


Do you perform microbiological shelf-life testing?

We do not offer microbiological shelf-life testing but can perform stability trials for active ingredient trials if required.

If you require shelf-life testing for microbiological parameters, PathWest may be able to assist you.


Cost and payments

How much does analysis cost?

Our staff will be happy to discuss pricing with you and assist with coming up with the most cost-effective ways of testing.  Formal cost estimates can be provided as an official written quote. Request a quote online now.

Do I need to pay when I submit the samples?

In some cases you will be asked for payment on submission, otherwise an invoice is sent out shortly after you receive your results report. You will be advised if payment is required when you recieve a quote.

What is the administration fee?

The administration fee is charged each time samples are submitted. It covers administrative costs including sample receipt, generation of reports, and invoicing.

When do I pay?

An invoice will be issued once the job has been reported.  Payment is not required until you have received the invoice. Payment falls due 30 days after the issue date found on the invoice.

Sample Containers

Can I use my own containers to submit a sample?

Preferably not. Different tests require different containers. ChemCentre recommends that samples are taken into containers provided by the laboratory. Use of non- ChemCentre containers may result in compromised results. ChemCentre’s containers are prepared in a particular way to ensure they are free of contamination and in some cases contain a preservative for specific tests. Individual tests may require specifically prepared containers you may need more than one type of bottle to cover your entire list of testing.

Can you send me sample containers?

Yes, ChemCentre can send out containers as required (a courier cost will be charged). We recommend discussing analytical requirements prior to sampling, so that we can send out the correct containers as required for the analysis requested.

Do you charge for sample containers?

No, ChemCentre containers are provided free of charge when organsing analysis through ChemCentre. Containers can be collected from our sample deliveries area or couriered to your location (a courier cost will be charged).

Submitting Samples

How do I submit samples to the lab?

Please ensure that the samples are collected in the correct sample bottle and labelled appropraitely. Sample can be submitted to ChemCentre's drive through Sample Delivery area, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

Sample submission instructions can be found on our Submitting a Sample page.

When can I submit samples?

Samples can be submitted in person or via post or courier services. Recommended sample drop-off times are 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday to allow for sufficient time to ensure samples are preserved, stored and entered into our system appropriately. Our Submitting a Sample page has further information.

How quickly do I need to get samples back to the lab?

Some analytical tests have specific hold times, which mean that the sample must be preserved, or the analysis commenced, within a specified time frame.  ChemCentre can provide information on this when discussing sampling and analysis requirements.  If in doubt, we recommend that samples are submitted within 24hrs of sampling and contact us to confirm.

I will be submitting the same samples on a regular basis. Can you help?

We can save you time with both ordering bottles to be sent to you and in sample submissions.  Upon request, ChemCentre can set up recurring bottle orders to be sent to you on a regular basis.
We can also set up recurring projects on our system so that all sample ID’s, analysis and reporting requirements are held on file.  That way, for future submissions, you need only provide your details on submission forms, the name of your project and sample dates and times. For further information, see our Submitting a Sample page.

My samples may be used in legal proceedings, does this affect things?

All ChemCentre submission forms include a Chain of Custody section to track sample handovers, for example from sampler to laboratory. This tracks samples from the time of sampling, submission and right through to time of disposal. This can be important to prove the samples were not tampered with by a third party.  Please also tick the legal proceedings box on the submission form. The correct sample containers can be obtained from ChemCentre.

If samples may be used in legal proceedings it is recommended you contact us for advice before sampling.

Samples can be held at ChemCentre for three years after reporting, or until ChemCentre is advised by you that the samples can be disposed of (storage charges may apply).

ChemCentre 's analytical reports are signed and dated by our qualified and trained expert scientists and can be used as evidence if required.

Sample labelling and submission form details

How do I label a sample?

All containers are provided with sample labels attached. Complete the details on each sample container in such a way that each sample can be clearly identified. The date and time of sampling may also be included. Note that several bottles may be required for the one sample depending on tests requested. All containers for the same sample should be labelled the same.

When filling in a submission form, the sample ID on the submission form for each sample should match the description written on the bottles.

Note that the sample ID only needs to be written once on the submission form for each sample, regardless of how many bottles are submitted

I have multiple samples from the same site taken at different times. How do I put this on the form?

If multiple samples are taken from the same site and have the same sample ID, they will need to be clearly identified by the date and time of sampling. The submission form includes columns for date and time of sampling. Please refer to our How To Complete a Submission Form guided document for further information.

What information do I need to provide with my sample?

All submissions must be accompanied by a Request for Analysis and Chain of Custody form clearly listing all necessary details; these will be provided to you with your quote, however, additional copies can be downloaded from our Forms page.
The Request for Analysis form is the source of information that is ultimately provided on your analytical report, therefore please ensure the sample submission form contains all the relevant information you would like on your report such as sampling dates and times and unique sampling site IDs.

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are required for all incoming research chemicals, waste products or samples for analysis in accordance with WHS Regulations 2022, r. 331
Contact us for advice if you are unable to provide an SDS.

Pre-arranged regular sampling projects can be set up with ChemCentre to reduce the amount of paperwork required when submitting.

What if I have taken the samples but don’t know what to test for yet?

Please contact us if you are unsure what you want to test for.

Samples are usually submitted after a decision has been made regarding which tests are required. However, ChemCentre can store your samples for up to three months prior to analysis. Note some analyte holding times may be exceeded, and your tests result may become compromised.

I want the same testing carried out as on previously submitted samples. How do I specify this?

Please write the previous report number on the submission form, or "as per previous job".

Can I have analysis carried out as per a quote?

If you have previously requested a quote for analysis, the quote number can be listed on the submission form.
Note that quotes usually expire after 30 days so prices may change.

Once samples are submitted

What happens after I submit my sample?

Sample data is logged onto our LIMS and samples are preserved and stored ready for analysis. 

A Sample Receipt is emailed to your nominated report recipients. This includes details of the submission, such as estimated reporting date, sample details and the analyses requested.

Do I need to respond to the Job Summary?

No, however ChemCentre recommends that the Sample Receipt is checked carefully to ensure that all details are correct.  If everything looks correct, no action is required.
Please contact ChemCentre immediately if you wish to change anything or if you believe there is an error.

How long does analysis usually take?

Usual turnaround time is 10 business days from the date of receipt, unless negotiated beforehand.
For the purposes of calculating turnaround times, samples received after 4pm are treated as being received on the following business day.

What happens if I need results urgently?

Please contact us if you require a faster turnaround.

What happens if I change my mind after I submit the samples?

If analysis has been completed prior to notification, the completed analysis will be reported and charged.  If the analysis has not yet been completed we will stop testing and note on the final report that the request for analysis was withdrawn, and you will not be charged for the test.

When will I get my report?

Once all tests are complete and results have been checked, a report will be issued as an emailed pdf file to all specified report recipients.  Upon request we can also provide you with an electronic “export” of data in the form of an excel spreadsheet.

I maintain my results in a database. Do you provide data files that I can use to import results directly into my database?

Yes. ChemCentre can provide data exports of job details and results at the time of reporting, in addition to the standard pdf report.  Such files are provided as either a txt file, csv file or ESDAT file.

The when and how of lab reports and results

What do my results mean?

ChemCentre does not offer a comprehensive result interpretation service. We can provide information on guideline limits and if they have been exceeded. We can explain the tests and what they measure and possibly why they might be of interest or concern. However, if you are dealing with a complex issue on site then we recommend you employ a consultant. Unsure if you need a consultant? Speak to the ChemCentre experts and we will help guide you in the right direction.


How sensitive are your tests?

ChemCentre’s method detection limits are usually below guideline levels and offer comparable or better sensitivity with other Australian laboratories offering similar services. If the reporting limit for an analyte is “x mg/L” and the concentration detected is below this level, the result will be reported as “<x mg/L”. ChemCentre 's detection and reporting limits are available upon request. 

What happens if I need more analysis carried out?

Further tests can be added to a job currently in progress. If the job has been completed and invoiced, then any additional work will be placed on a new job. If you need more samples tested, then they also can be added to a job currently in progress.   Note that the estimated completion date will change when either tests or samples are added to an existing job.  We will work with you to ensure the job is completed to the highest quality.


How long to do you keep samples after analysis?

Samples are usually disposed of four weeks after the report is sent to you.  Samples can be held at ChemCentre for 3 years after reporting, or until ChemCentre is advised by you that the samples can be disposed of (storage charges may apply). If you require further testing to be carried out and we still have the samples in storage, we can carry out further testing as required.  Note that if analyte hold times have been exceeded, analysis may be compromised.

Can you hold samples longer?

Yes. ChemCentre can hold samples longer than the standard 4 weeks upon request. Please indicate this on the submission form at the time of submitting if possible or contact us to discuss. Storage charges may apply, speak to your ChemCentre representative for more details.

What is NATA? Why is this important?

NATA is the National Association of Testing Authorities.  ChemCentre is a NATA-accredited Chemical Testing Facility.
NATA accreditation provides a means of determining, formally recognising and promoting the competence of facilities to perform specific types of testing, inspection, calibration, and other related activities.

In 1950, the laboratory gained accreditation under the NATA and ChemCentre remains the longest continuously NATA registered laboratory in operation in Australia. 

Are all your tests NATA-accredited?

No; many tests are but not all tests.  Tests which are not NATA-accredited are indicated with an asterisk (*) on the final report. However, the test results provided for unaccredited tests are often as equally valid as the accredited tests; the main difference being that we have not provided the methodology to NATA for formal assessment.

If you're unsure if you test is NATA-accreditated please do not hesitate to contact your ChemCentre representative for further clarification.

Postal address

PO Box 1250

t: (08) 9422 9800
f: (08) 9422 9801
e: enquiries@chemcentre.wa.gov.au

ABN : 40 991 885 705

Street address

Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar
Resources and Chemistry Precinct
Corner Manning Road and Townsing Drive
Bentley WA 6102

Reception: Level 2, South Wing, Building 500.

Deliveries: Ground floor - use Conlon Street entrance