Hyperion Research Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are you in Medicine Hat?
A: Because we like it here. Medicine Hat is a great place to live and since we work nationwide it really does not matter where we are so long as we get good courier service.

Q: How much water should I filter?
A: The short answer is as much as you can. Filta-Max filters can handle up to 1000 L when the turbidity is much less than 1 NTU but the filter will clog at lower volumes at turbidities above 1 NTU. Envirochek HV filters can sometimes handle more but are also sensitive to higher turbidity. A typical sample is 250-500 L. Higher volumes increase the sensitivity of the analysis but if the flow rate is slowing significantly then you might as well quit because we can only work with 0.5 mL recovered pellet without splitting the sample and that gets expensive.

Q: What is the holding (shipping) time for samples?
A: Method 1623 which we use for both Giardia/Cryptosporidium samples and MPA samples specifies 96 h at a temperature less than 20 °C on arrival. This is not always possible but there is good evidence to show that Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts are still in good condition after two weeks (Robertson et al. 2000; J. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66]4]:1724-1725). Frozen is definitely not good because organisms die but we can still detect cysts and oocysts. If a sample comes in over time, over temperature or frozen it is our policy to call the client for permission to proceed after a discussion of the possible effects before analyzing a sample.

Q: What is the difference between a Filta-Max and an Envirochek HV filter?
A: Filta-Max filters are depth filters that are dissembled in the lab and washed out by a mechanical device designed for the purpose. They are cheaper, smaller and fit into a housing that can be attached to a water meter and supply/effluent hoses easily. Envirochek filters are membrane filters that are superior at lower pressures. They are more expensive and have inconvenient 1/2:” barb ends that require hoses to be attached with gear clamps but they are excellent filters for recovering all kinds of particulates. Both are approved for Method 1623.

Q: What does G(W)UDI mean?
A: It is an acronym for Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of surface water and the Microscopic Particulate Analysis is one of the tools for determining if well water is true groundwater or infiltrating surface water.

Q: How is G(W)UDI status determined?
A: Only a professional hydrogeologist can determine G(W)UDI status based on aquifer characteristics, well installation, geology, temperature and conductivity readings, isotope data and possibly a Microscopic Particulate Analysis. The MPA test cannot be used by itself to determine G(W)UDI status.

Q: What are Aerobic Spore Forming Bacteria plate counts good for?
A: Aerobic spore forming bacteria are abundant in surface water and shallow soil horizons. Spores are highly resistant to environmental deterioration and about half the size of a Cryptosporidium oocyst. If well water contains more than 100-200 CFU/L (colony forming units) of ASFB then it is evidence for surface water intrusion. True groundwater typically contains 0 – 100 CFU/L and surface waters often have more than 1000 CFU/L. Some surface waters are very dilute and contain few spores so a comparison with well water is not always helpful but the test is inexpensive and only requires 100 mL grab samples of both well and surface water. It is not part of Method 1623 but often provides useful additional information.

Q: What are the operating pressures for Filta-Max and Envirochek HV filters?
A:Filta-Max filters can handle up to 90 psi pressure and do best at pressures above 30 psi. Envirochek HV filters are good up to about 65 psi and excel l at pressures below 30 psi.

Q: How much do your analyses cost?
A: Current pricing is given on our web page here.

Q: Is Hyperion an accredited lab?
A: Yes, we are accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation. This means that we conform to the standards of ISO 17025 and are audited on site every two years. The actual tests (scope) that we are accredited for can be viewed at www.CALA.ca and our certificate can be viewed and downloaded from our web page here.

Q: What courier should I use?
A: We usually use Purolator but get shipments from Fedex, Loomis and even the Post Office for some remote locations.

Q: Do you return coolers?
A: Yes, we assume that clients want their coolers back so return them by courier unless instructed otherwise. The cost of shipping is often as much as a new cooler but it saves going out to buy one.