Gut Rumbles

May 17, 2009

Do you trust a lab?

Originally published March 6, 2004

I damn sure don't. I once received results from the plant lab telling me that I had a batch of fines with a .998 specific gravity. I asked the lab supervisor, "was the sample white?" She said that it was, but they ran the sample three times and came up with a number lower than pure water.

"That cannot be possible," I responded.

"We ran it three times and that's what we got," she replied.

I went into the field and ran a gravity myself, using a weigh scale and a hydrometer. I saw 1.280. I asked my operator. "What do you see here?"

"It's a 1.280, boss."

"Okay, treat it as a 1.280 and pump it when you're done. Fuck the lab. Nobody in their right mind would issue such obviously bogus results. It's my call. Go ahead and do it.

Are the same people running your piss-tests?


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