top of page

How do I collect a sample for...?

Total Coliform/E Coli:

The sample must be collected in a sterilized bottle supplied y the laboratory, The bottle contains sodium thiosulfate (white powder), a dechlorinating agent. Do not rinse the bottle. When collecting a distribution tap sample, the water in the service line should be completely flushed. Samples should not be collected from taps surrounded by excessive foliage (leaves, flowers) or taps that are dirty, corroded, or leaking. Never collect a sample from a hose or any other attachment fastened to the faucet. The sample bottle should never come in contact with the faucet. Do Not lay the sample container lid down, splatter water on the lid or container, and never touch the inside of the container or lid. Samples must be brought back to the lab within 30 hours of collection. 

Flame the tap with a propane torch or rinse the tap with Chlorine/bleach after removing any strainer or aerators. Once the faucet has been disinfected, let the cold water run for five minutes. After the cold water has run, turn down the flow of water so that when collecting the sample water does not splash out of the container. Break the seal on the container and gently open the bottle. When collecting the samples, take caution not to touch the inside of the container or lid. The sample should be filled to the marked 100ml line at the top of the container. Samples must be brought back to the lab within 30 hours of collection.


The sample must be collected in bottles provided by the laboratory. The sample must be kept on ice. Collect samples after treatment from entry point (well) to the distribution. 

Before taking the samples, let the water run from the tap for a few minutes (until water temperature stabilizes). Fill the supplied container. Do not flame or chlorinate this spigot before collecting sample. 


The sample is to be collected after the water has been sitting in the pipes for at least 6 hours with no use. Place the sample bottle (open) below the faucet and gently open the cold-water tap. Fill the sample bottle completely. It is not necessary to flame or chlorinate this spigot before collecting sample. 

Arsenic: Collect arsenic in a preserved bottle with HNO3. The sample should be collected at the well, If you have a treatment system on your well collect the sample immediately after treatment. Fill bottle up to the neck of the bottle. If you do not have a preserved bottle, collect sample and bring back to laboratory quickly for preservation. 

How do I get rid of Bacteria in my well water?

The most common action taken to remediate this problem is to chlorinate the well. You can also call a proffesional well company to chlorinate your water well. You can find a link below to a chlorination process.

Microsoft Word - Well Disinfection Foldout 12-2009 (

Where can I see my information for my PWSS system?

Drinking Water Watch | NC DEQ

What is a reporting limit?

A Reporting Limit (RL) is defined as the smallest concentration of a chemical that can be reported by a laboratory.

 What is an EPA Max Limit? (Maximum Contaminant Level)

Maximum contaminant levels are standards that are set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water quality. An MCL is the legal threshold limit on the amount of a substance that is allowed in public water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The limit is usually expressed as a concentration in milligrams or micrograms per liter of water.

bottom of page