The lab was set up to support water and action research programs for the SHIP WETC Program.  It then expanded to include services for external clients.  It started up as a completely mobile service and later on the laboratory facility was established.  Currently two laboratory facilities are in operation in Ndola and Lusaka, Zambia providing services to numerous stakeholders including the SHIP WETC, drilling companies, NGO’s, government ministries and private individuals.

Water Quality Testing Services

The three different types of testing done by the laboratory are:
a) Microbiological testing
b) Chemical testing
c) Physical testing

Microbiological Testing

This incorporates test for E. Coli (feacal contamination indicator) and Total coliforms (indicate general contamination in water).
E. Coli is the recommended indicator bacteria for feacal contamination by the WHO and Zambian Government.
The method employed by SHIP Water Laboratory is the membrane filtration, which is the most accurate of the currently available methods, and it is highly recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chemical Testing

This incorporates a number of different chemical contaminants which are important to be tested for,such as, Iron, Fluoride, Manganese, Ammonia, Arsenic, Nitrate, Phosphate, Copper and many others. The method used to test for these elements is Colorimetric using the Advanced Photometer (Wagtech7100). The equipment is able to test for 40 different chemicals and it is of high precision.

Physical Testing

The main physical contaminants are turbidity and total dissolved solids.
The equipment used are wagtech electronic meters which are of high precision.
A list of typical tests for a borehole as well as tests available can be found here.


Training Services

The training offered by the SHIP Laboratory is the Water Quality Testing Workshop and it can be tailored to suit the needs of the client. This is a hands-on introductory course in basic Water Quality Testing.
Currently it is offered in the following categories.

i) Five day Workshop
ii) Four day Workshop
iii) Three day Workshop
iv) One day water awareness


Monitoring & Evaluation Services

This service is available as client support to help clients monitor and or evaluate any project that they are undertaking in the WASH sector. Quotes are given according to clients’ request.
This is offered locally, nationally and internationally.


For more information contact please contact