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Audit: $1.3M upgrade fails to improve Modesto lab

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) -- An audit has found that Modesto's $1.3 million project to upgrade its water quality control laboratory has partly gone to waste.

The Modesto Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1iABmQy ) the upgrade at the city's wastewater treatment plant included purchasing about $350,000 in equipment. Public works officials said that would allow staff members to test the water instead of sending some of the work to other labs, and save the city money.

However, an independent audit has found that the lab never obtained proper certification for the equipment, so the lab must continue outsourcing testing associated with the equipment.

A city official said the city is working to improve the lab and the public works department.

The audit of the department's water and wastewater divisions cost the city about $80,000.

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