Drinking Water

Sampling a Noncommunity Water Supply

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Collection of Coliform bacteria water sample: (Using the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Laboratory)

  • Do not:
    • Open the bottle until you are ready to collect the sample.
    • Touch the inside of the cap or bottle.
    • Rinse the bottle. The sample bottle contains a white preservative that needs to stay in the water sample.
  • Use the designated sampling location. Remove the aerator. Run the cold water for about five minutes.
  • Turn off the water and disinfect the sampling faucet with chlorine bleach or sterilize with a flame.
  • Run the cold water for an additional five minutes
  • Reduce the water flow to a pencil-sized stream. Remove and hold the cap while you fill the bottle to the fill line. Do not let the cap or bottle touch the faucet. Do not overfill the bottle. Avoid splashing water.
  • Replace and secure the cap to insure that the sample does not leak.
  • Complete all known information on the water sample request form by printing or typing legibly. Insure your WSSN number is clearly labeled on the form.
  • Refrigerate the sample until you are able to deliver it to the lab.

Collection of Nitrate/Nitrite sample: (Using the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Laboratory)

  • Remove and hold the cap while you fill the bottle to the bottom of the neck.
  • Replace and secure the cap to insure that the sample does not leak.
  • Complete all known information on the water sample request form by printing or typing legibly. Insure your WSSN number is clearly labeled on the form.
  • Refrigerate the sample until you are able to deliver it to the lab.

The following are samples that can be taken to the State of Michigan Laboratory or a private certified drinking water laboratory.

Collection of Complete Metals or Cyanide for Public Supplies:

  • Obtain the proper bottles from a certified laboratory and follow the instructions provided.
  • Collect samples just prior to delivery or mailing to the laboratory. Samples must be analyzed within 48 hours of collection. Keep the sample refrigerated.
  • Collect sample as close to the well as possible prior to any treatment and flush stagnant water by running water at full flow for several minutes before collecting the sample.
  • Adjust the tap to provide a pencil sized stream of water and fill the bottle to the bottom of the neck.
  • Complete the report form making sure to record the WSSN, date and time of sampling and return address are recorded on the form correctly. Be sure to request the proper tests.
  • Deliver or mail the samples to the lab as soon as possible so the 48 hour transit time is not exceeded.

Collection of Lead/Copper for corrosion control sample:

  • Obtain sample containers and analysis from a laboratory certified by the State of Michigan for lead/copper analysis.
  • Collect first draw samples where water has stood motionless in the piping for at least 6 hours. Do not sample after weekends, holidays or extended periods of stagnation. Do not flush the sample tap before sample collection.
  • Collect samples where water is drawn primarily for drinking. Sample drinking fountains or kitchen/break room faucets if they are used routinely to obtain water for consumption. Do not sample from slop sinks, hose bibbs, etc.
  • Do not sample from a faucet that is not generally used.
  • Sample the drinking water fixtures in the building up to the chart number. For instance, if your building has eight drinking water fixtures, and you are required to take five samples, sample only five of the fixtures. If you have more than the chart number of drinking water fixtures, select ones that represent the water distribution system, i.e. one in each building wing or on each floor. Or, you can collect more than the minimum number of samples.
Student/Employee Population # Samples Each 6 months # Samples after Reduction*
< 101 5 5
100-500 10 5
269-501-3300 20 10

* After two six month sets below the action level a reduction to testing is allowed.

  • For large facilities collect at least one sample per building until you get the number of samples required for the population served by the water supply.
  • If you have a only a few buildings, split the samples among them as best you can according to where the water is being consumed.
  • If you have fewer drinking water fixtures than the chart requires, sample the ones you have and note on the sample log sheet you have sampled all drinking water fixtures.
  • Properly identify the sample location on the lab slip and include the water supply serial number (WSSN) on the lab sample forms to properly identify the samples, otherwise, you may not be credited as having sampled.
  • Be sure to request the proper lab analysis or test code for lead/copper and place the forms with the bottles.
  • Refrigerate all samples during storage prior to shipment.
  • Deliver or mail the samples to the lab as soon as possible.

When you receive Lead/Copper test results

  • Properly record sample results on report form following the directions and send a copy to the local health department. If you exceed an action level, you must notify the local health department within 24 hours or the next business day. You must also notify the public (consumers) of the action level exceedance as instructed by the health department and take steps to minimize exposure (shutting off fountain, or flushing) as instructed. Additional actions such as sampling the source water for lead/copper and investigating possible sources of lead in the distribution system should be discussed with the local health department. Within 6 months of the end of the monitoring period in which the action level was exceeded, the facility will need to submit a proposal to conduct a "treatment study" or install "corrosion control treatment."

Collection of Volatile Organic Chemistry (VOC) sample:

  • Obtain proper sample containers from a laboratory certified by the State of Michigan for analysis of all required parameters.
  • The sample vials may contain a preservative. Tap each vial in an upright position to drain the preservatives from the cap. Do not rinse the sample container.
  • Do not open the vial until ready to collect the sample. Do not touch the inside of cap or vial.
  • Select a clean faucet without attachments or leaking stem. Allow water to run for ten minutes (until cold) at full flow.
  • Reduce flow and collect the sample directly into all vials provided. Fill vial approximately half way. Use the supplied hydrochloric acid (HCl) dropper to add 4 drops of HCl into the sample. Continue to fill the vial until water rounds at the top of the vial.
  • Cap and invert to check for air bubbles in the vial. (The septa, i.e. the rubber part inside the cap ring, must be smooth side down in contact with the sample to avoid possible contamination.)
  • If air is observed in the inverted sample, remove cap, add water, and recap as instructed.
  • Keep the samples refrigerated and complete the report form making sure to record the WSSN, date and time of sampling and return address on the form correctly. Be sure to request the proper lab analysis or test code for volatile organic chemistry if using the State of Michigan lab. Use the appropriate forms if using a different certified lab.
  • Deliver or mail the sample units together to the lab as soon as possible so the transit time is not exceeded. See the unit label for transit times.

Collection of Synthetic Organic Chemistry (SOC) sample:

  • Obtain proper sample containers from a laboratory certified by the State of Michigan for analysis of all required parameters.
  • The sample containers may contain a preservative. Tap each container in an upright position to drain the preservatives from the cap. Do not rinse the bottle before collection. Do not open the bottle until ready to collect the sample. Do not touch the inside of cap or bottle.
  • Select a clean faucet without attachments or leaking stem. Allow water to run for ten minutes (until cold) at full flow.
  • Reduce flow and collect the sample directly into all bottles provided. Fill bottle to bottom of neck.
  • Keep the samples refrigerated and complete the report form making sure to record the WSSN, date and time of sampling and return address on the form correctly. Be sure to request the proper lab analysis or test code for synthetic organic chemistry if using the State of Michigan lab. Use the appropriate forms if using a different certified lab.
  • Deliver or mail the sample units together to the lab as soon as possible so the transit time is not exceeded. See the unit label for transit times.

Helpful Links

Monitoring requirements
Coliform bacteria detected response
MDEQ Sampling Fact Sheets

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Kalamazoo, MI 49001

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