Instructions to Take a Water Sample

Do not submit samples from high-risk water supplies, such as lakes, rivers or streams, unless water has been properly treated first.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Get a Proper Water Sample Bottle
    Pick up a water kit from a location in your area. Only water collected directly into these bottles will be accepted.

  2. Take your Sample at a Correct Time
    Sample your well water when you're sure you can drop it off within 24 hours. Your water sample should not be left sitting for a long period of time as this can lead to inaccurate results.

    Samples can only be dropped off Monday - Thursday. Samples are not accepted on Friday as they will not reach the Public Health Laboratory within the 48 hour limit.

  3. Take the Sample from an Indoor Tap
    Remove any aerator, screen or other attachments from your faucet. Take a sample from an inside tap with no aerator, such as the bathtub. Don't take a sample from an outside tap or garden hose.

  4. Disinfect the Faucet Spout
    Disinfect the end of the tap with an alcohol swab or diluted bleach solution (1 part household bleach to 10 parts water) before running water to remove debris or bacteria. Disinfecting the tap with a flame is not recommended as you could damage the faucet.

  5. Let Water Run for 3 to 4 Minutes Before Taking Sample
    Turn on cold water and let it run for 3 to 4 minutes to remove standing water from your plumbing system.

  6. Handle the Bottle Carefully
    Remove the sample bottle lid:
    - don't touch the inside of the lid or put the lid down
    - don't rinse out the bottle

  7. Fill the Bottle
    Fill the bottle to the level that is marked, as described in the enclosed instructions, and close the lid firmly.

  8. Keep Sample in Cool Place
    Keep the sample cool (but not frozen) until it's returned to the drop-off location. Don't store samples in warm places such as your car trunk.

  9. Deliver the Sample within 24 Hours
    Drop off your sample at one of our drop-off locations. Samples older than 24 hours may not be processed. Remember that proper handling will help to make sure that your test results are accurate.

Getting your Results

Your results will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 days.

An automated phone line is available at 1-877-723-3426. You can call 4 to 5 business days after dropping off your water sample and enter your PIN number from the bottle.

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