Maine Environmental Lab.
One Main Street
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

Tel. 207-846-6569
Fax 207-846-9066

Email: melab@mel-lab.com

Hours: M-Th 8-5, F 8-4



Yes, We Test Drinking Water!

Are you buying a new home or concerned about your current well water? Are you on town water but live in a old house with ancient plumbing? Give us a ring at 846-6569 to discuss your concerns!

We run drinking water tests of all kinds, including "basic safety" and common real estate panels. Testing for single elements of concern (arsenic, copper, lead, fluoride, uranium, etc.) is also welcome. See "Our Analytical Services" page for a full list of tests available.

Please note: MEL does not sell water treatment systems.

About Us

Maine Environmental Laboratory (MEL) was started as Northeast Geochemical Company in 1979 by Fred Beck, a mineral exploration geologist doing consulting work in Maine and Northern New England. At that time, a company wanting to test soil or rocks for mineral content had to send samples to Denver, Salt Lake, or Reno.  Most companies were looking for deposits of copper, lead, or zinc, and thousands of soils samples were shipped west annually.  Shipping delays as well as slow western lab turnaround times caused logistical problems for the mineral exploration groups working in the Northeast.

Seeing a possible business opportunity and wanting to supplement his consulting business, Fred started the laboratory in Yarmouth with one employee, Helen Lataille, a former hospital lab technician.   Herb Kodis, a recent USM geology graduate, was hired to assist her and by 1982 had been promoted to lab director, a title he held until his retirement in 2012.  Also in 1982, to accommodate rapid growth, the lab moved to its present location in a former sawmill at 1 Main Street on the banks of the Royal River at the Lower Falls.

Over time, Northeast Geochemical Company’s menu of services increased, and the name was changed to Northeast Geochemical and Assay Company. Fire assay tests for gold and silver were of particular interest to mining companies at the time. Fire assaying involved a major commitment of time, space and capital for crushers, pulverizers, and two electric furnaces (similar to kilns). The lab was the only fire assay lab on the East Coast and rock samples were received from as far away as Georgia.

The mid-1980s saw mining companies shift their focus from base-metal exploration on the East Coast to the search for gold in Nevada, and Latin and South America. Fire assay orders dropped off and the lab adapted by expanding into the analysis of “environmental” samples, that is, testing every type of material that needed to be tested, including liquids.

The market for environmental testing was growing due to new State and Federal regulations requiring virtually all businesses and municipalities to test wastewaters or solid waste products before discharging them or sending them to a landfill.  In 1985, the lab formed a new division called Maine Environmental Laboratory to handle the new services.  By the early 1990s, 90% of the lab’s business was “environmental.”

In 2012, our analysts have a combined 100 years of experience in analytical chemistry.  Owing to their expertise and our phenomenal support staff, Maine Environmental Laboratory has one of the best reputations in the area, and earns continual high marks from State auditors. Personal service, close communication between lab staff and clients, reliable and quick turn-around times, adhering to the strictest quality control standards—that’s what MEL is all about.

 

 

 

The lab building has a long history…