Water Sample Collection Instructions

Total Coliform Bacteria and/or Nitrate Nitrogen Analysis

1. Collect the sample in a 100mL sterile bottle supplied by the laboratory. You can get this bottle by visiting the lab, or calling and having the lab mail you a bottle (218-846-1465).


2. Water sample collection should occur as close to the well as possible, using a point in the water system that is regularly used.

3. To ensure the sample best represents the groundwater source the sample should be collected at a location before the water is treated by a water softener, iron filtration unit, or water heater.  If this is not possible, bypass the water softener.

4. Remove all aeration devices (screen) from the faucet.

5. Flame the faucet (only if it is solid metal) until thoroughly heated (approx. 1 minute) by using a small propane torch, a butane cigarette lighter, or a candle (do not use matches to heat faucet).  If you are not able to flame the faucet, thoroughly disinfect the faucet opening with rubbing alcohol.

6.  Run the cold-water tap for a minimum of 5 minutes.

7. Collect the water sample using the sterile plastic bottle.  The bottle is sterile until opened.  Take great care not to touch the inside of the bottle or cap.  Fill the sample container completely full and tightly close the lid.

8. Fill out the information form (on back), and fasten to the bottle with the rubber band.

**Collect and ship the sample to ensure its arrival at the laboratory within 30 hours of collection.  Samples which are received after the 30 hour holding time will be considered void, and you will be asked to re-sample. 


Arsenic, Flouride, Iron and Hardness