The Edwards Aquifer Research & Data Center (EARDC) was established in 1979 with special funding for Texas State University to provide a public service in the study, understanding and use of the very fragile natural resource, the Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer is a unique, world-renowned karst aquifer that is made up of porous, permeable limestone. It supplies water of exceptional quality to over 2.0 million people in the San Antonio area and neighboring cities. Springs from the aquifer feed the Comal and San Marcos rivers which provide base flow in the Guadalupe River system. The aquifer and its associated spring support the habitat for nine species listed as endangered or threatened by the federal government. EARDC takes an active role in water education issues and works daily with public schools as well as institutions of higher education. Annually since 1989, our center has given some 40 tours to more than 1,000 elementary and secondary school students as part of their science field trips. Seminars and workshops are held frequently to promote water education and water conservation. The center also provides laboratory analysis of 4,000 water samples a year to more than 100 customers. EARDC operations are organized around four major areas:
Operating both statewide and nationally, collects, maintains and makes available information on the Edwards Aquifer. The information is stored in six major categories:
Offers a variety of technical services to the public and various government offices. Most prominent is the Laboratory Services for water analyses. The laboratory has NELAP accredation for certain analysis. In addition, the laboratory is accredited to perform bacteriological testing of water. The specialized water analyses available include standard chemical analyses for anions, cations, and metals; pesticides and other organic carbons and bacteriological analyses.
The Education Center seeks to improve public understanding of the Edwards Aquifer through the development and the dissemination of educational materials and through development and implementation of educational programs. Examples include curriculum development for public schools, in-service training for science teachers and material for local units of government. Materials and services provided through the EARDC Education Center include:
Conducts basic and applied research related to the aquifer in the area of aquatic biology, geochemistry and hydrogeology. Previous subjects of environmental research included:
The Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center (EARDC) has been providing water analysis services since 1979. Samples are analyzed from wells, springs, rivers, municipalities, and wastewater treatment facilities for a variety of chemical and biological constituents. The EARDC laboratory is accredited through National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC) by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). EARDC has provided a wide range of services for private citizens and numerous organizations including the Edwards Underground Water District, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Barton Springs Conservation District, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TP&W), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
EARDCs commitment is to meet our client’s requirements by providing a high caliber of environmental and laboratory services. The goal of the EARDC laboratory is to generate an error-free environment. The quality assurance and management system at EARDC stresses training and planning which yields increased personal performance, improved laboratory management and the prevention of errors. Our program relies on clearly defined objectives, well documented procedures, a comprehensive audit system and assistance of the EARDC management for its effectiveness. The EARDC Quality Assurance program ensures that data produced is scientifically sound, legally defensible, and of known documentable and verifiable quality.