How do I test my well water for bacteria?

Follow these sampling instructions carefully:

  1. Obtain sample bottles from the Environmental Health office.
  2. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before collecting the sample.
  3. Do not open the bottle until you are ready to collect the sample.
  4. Choose a clean, indoor faucet. Do not collect the sample from hose lines, from leaking/dirty faucets, or from reverse osmosis treated faucets.
  5. Turn on the cold water and let it run at full stream for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn down the faucet to a small stream of the cold water.
  7. Open the bottle. Do not set the cap down. Do not touch the inside of the cap or bottle. Do not rinse out the bottle. Do not dump out any powder or pill that is inside the bottle, as this helps preserve the sample.
  8. Collect the water sample directly into the sample bottle. Fill to the neck of the bottle. Do not overflow. Do not allow the cap or bottle to touch the faucet.
  9. Replace the cap securely on the bottle.
  10. Place the bottle in a cooler with an ice pack during transport.
  11. Fill out the form completely. Attach the form to the bottle with a rubber band. Return the bottle to our office before 3 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Show All Answers

1. How often should I test my well water for bacteria?
2. How do I test my well water for bacteria?
3. What should I do if coliform bacteria are detected in my well?
4. What do my test results mean?
5. How can I eliminate coliform bacteria from my well water?
6. How can bacteria get into drinking water?