Directions for Taking Water Samples
- Sterile bottles MUST be used when sampling potable water samples. A water sampling kit should be obtained by contacting the laboratory. Each kit includes 3 bottles, one each for: 1) Coliform Bacteria test, (contains a pill, do not remove) 2) Nitrate test, (contains a small amount of sulfuric acid, USE CAUTION) and 3) all other water tests. The bottles have color coded labels.
- An additional bottle for testing heavy metals must also be requested if heavy metals testing is required. The laboratory is not certified for testing heavy metals in potable water
- For drinking water, allow faucet to run 5-10 minutes before taking the sample.
- Irrigation wells should be sampled at the peak of the irrigation season.
- Samples from new wells should be collected after the pipe and screen are in place. Pump the well for at least 10 hours before sampling.
- Samples of lakes, streams, and ponds should be taken from below the surface.
- Send the sample to the laboratory immediately after collection. Samples for Coliform Bacteria and e.coli must reach the lab in less than 30 hours, to still be a viable sample. Any over 30 hours must be rejected and resampling take place.
- It is a good idea to contact your post office and/or courier to find out what time they send packages out, so that you can collect your sample just prior to that time.