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Water-Testing Options

Testing Options


Test includes

Purpose of test


Annual Water
Testing Package

Coliform and Nitrate

Useful for monitoring water systems for contaminants and/or breaches in private well water.

Recommended annually.

Mineral Package

Calcium, Copper, Hardness, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, Sulfate and Zinc

Useful for monitoring well water for color, odor, taste, etc.

Recommended once every 5 to 10 years or anytime a change in color, odor or taste is noticed.


Coliform, Nitrate, pH, and the entire Mineral Package

Useful for establishing a baseline of water quality in a private well system and for monitoring changes in water quality.

Recommended once every 5 to 10 years or anytime a change in color, odor or taste is noticed.


Arsenic, Lead and Pesticide Screen

Useful for monitoring wells for poisons found in water supplies.

Test if you have copper plumbing installed before 1985, well is located in northeast Wisconsin, live near a farm community that uses pesticides or if the nitrate level is over 10 ppm.


Additional Water Testing Options


Nonmetals & Inorganic Compounds

Physical Testing



Total Nitrogen
Total Phosphorus
Nitrate plus Nitrite


E. coli
Total Coliforms


* Packages vary by location. For exact package details for your specific location, please contact your sales representative, email us or call the lab today.



Water-Sampling Guide

Proper sampling is critical. It’s the first step to ensuring an accurate result. Please select from the links below for more details on wastewater sampling instructions and technique.

Important Sampling Reminders

  • Keep sample bottle closed until the moment it is to be filled.
  • Do not rinse the container.
  • Take care to not touch or contaminate the inner surface of the lid and the neck of the bottle.
  • If the sample bottle overflows, discard the container and start over with a new bottle.
  • Leave ample air space to facilitate mixing.
  • Replace the lid immediately after sample is collected.
  • Label the sample bottle right away.

General Well Water Sampling

  1. Collect the sample from a point as close to the well as possible.
  2. Do not collect a water sample from a point after a water softener.
  3. If the faucet used has an aerator on it, remove the aerator before taking the sample. Do not take the sample from a swing neck kitchen sink type faucet. Sanitize the faucet with an aseptic wipe or 95% ethyl alcohol solution.
  4. Turn on the water and let it run for a minimum of 5 minutes before collecting the sample.
  5. Open the bottle carefully and place it in the slowly flowing water stream and fill it completely.
  6. Cap the bottle tightly and fill out the information form as completely as you can.
  7. The sample needs to be received at the lab no later than 30 hours after sampling.

Lead and Copper Water Sampling
Collect samples from a tap that has not been used for a minimum of 6 hours. Because of this requirement, the best time to collect samples is either early in the morning or in the evening upon returning from work. Be sure to use taps that have been in general use by your household for the past few months.

1. Prior arrangements will be made with the customer to coordinate the sample collection event. Dates will be set for sample kit delivery and pick-up by water department staff.

2. There must be a minimum of 6 hours during which there is no water used from the tap the sample is taken from and any taps adjacent or close to that tap. The water department recommends that either early mornings or evenings upon returning home are the best sampling times to ensure that the necessary stagnant water conditions exist.

3. A kitchen or bathroom cold-water faucet is to be used for sampling. If you have water softeners on your kitchen taps, collect your sample from the bathroom tap that is not attached to a water softener, if possible. Place the opened sample bottle below the faucet and gently open the cold water tap. Fill the sample bottle to the line marked '1000-mL' and turn off the water.

4. Tightly cap the sample bottle and place in the sample kit provided. Please review the sample kit label at this time to ensure that all information contained on the label is correct.

5. If any plumbing repairs or replacement has been done in the home since the previous sampling event, note this information on the label as provided. If your sample was collected from a tap with a water softener, please note this as well.

6. Place the sample kit outside of the residence in the same location the kit was delivered so that department staff may pick up the sample kit.

7. Results from this monitoring effort will be provided to participating customers when reports are generated for the state. However, if excessive lead and/or copper levels are found, immediate notification will be provided (usually 10 working days from the time of sample collection).

Bacteria Testing: requires a sterile bottle.

  1. Locate a sample tap near the well, preferably not a swing, leaky or outside faucet. Remove any screens and aerators.
  2. Properly sterilize the faucet. The tip of a metal faucet can be sterilized by heating with a flame, BUT we recommend sterilizing the tip of all faucets with 95% ethyl alcohol.
  3. Let water run several minutes. Do not change the flow rate, do not shut the faucet off and do not wipe or wash the faucet.
  4. Remove the cap from the sample bottle without touching the rim of the bottle or inside of the cap. Place cap on a clean surface such as a clean paper towel.
  5. Fill bottle leaving at least 1” of space between water & cap. Avoid splashing.
  6. Keep sample on ice and return to AgSource within 30 hours.

Fluoride and Nitrate Testing: Samples must reach laboratory within 48 hours of sampling.

  1. Bacteria, fluoride and nitrate can be taken from the same bottle (from bacteria bottle) if both tests are needed.
  2. Locate a sample tap that does not leak or is not outside.
  3. Let water run several minutes.
  4. Fill bottle leaving at least 1” of space between water & cap.
  5. Keep sample on ice and return to AgSource within 30 hours. Nitrates need to be tested within 48 hours of sampling.

Metals Testing: requires a metals testing bottle.

  1. Locate a sample tap that does not leak or is not outside.
  2. Let water run several minutes.
  3. Fill bottle leaving at least 1” of space between water & cap.
  4. Metals samples can be stored at room temperature until they arrive at the laboratory.


Sample Submission Forms

All samples must have a submission form when arriving at the laboratory. At a minimum, the following information needs to be provided for all samples: sample identification, date and time of collection and any special instructions, if applicable.

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