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Drinking Water Testing Services

Water covers the majority of the earth’s surface, but only 1% is clean and safe to drink. This precious resource requires reliable drinking water testing services that are accurate, reliable, convenient, and customer-friendly.

  • Accuracy
    We have years of experience testing for large and small clients, from residential homeowners to city municipalities.Our drinking water testing services provide reliable and accurate results to help you protect your family.
  • Reliability & Convenience
    Our safe and secure sample pickup routes and convenient supply ordering process exemplify our commitment to be there when you need us the most.
  • Friendly Service
    From homeowners to camp ground operators and municipality leaders to well drillers, we focus on building personal relationships with our customers.

Contact a drinking water testing representative to find out more information on how you can begin your drinking water testing.

Drinking Water Testing Options

Package*

Test includes

Purpose of Test

Frequency

Annual Water

Coliform and Nitrate

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

Recommended annually.

Mineral

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.

Homeowner

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.

Livestock

TDS, pH, Chloride, Nitrate and the entire Mineral Package

Useful for monitoring water quality for agricultural operations.

Recommended annually if concerned with the health of animals due to water quality.

Poison
Contamination

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

Metals

Calcium
Iron
Manganese
Sodium
Arsenic
Copper
Magnesium
Potassium
Zinc

 

Organic Compounds

Biochemical Oxygen
Demand (BOD)
Carbonaceous BOD
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Oil & Grease
Organic Nitrogen

Nonmetals & Inorganic
Compounds

Ammonia
Chloride
Fluoride
Sulfate
Nitrite
Total Nitrogen
Orthophosphate
Total Phosphorus TKN (Kjeldahl)
Nitrate
Nitrate plus Nitrite
Physical Testing Acidity
Alkalinity
Hardness Conductivity
pH
Turbidity
Volatile Acids Volatile Solids Total Solids (TS) Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
Microbiological

Fecal Streptococcus
Iron Bacteria Test
Sulfur Bacteria Test
E. coli
Total Coliforms
Fecal Coliforms Enterococcus Bacteria
Heterotrophic Plate Count

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

Drinking 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 water sampling instructions and techniques.


** 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.
     

Well Water Sampling Instructions

  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 - This sample 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 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 - This sample 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.

Drinking Water Resources

The Official Chain of Custody Form - All samples must have a chain of custody 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
  • Name of the sample collector
  • Sample preservation
  • Sample matrix
  • Special instructions, if applicable


AgSource's Chain of Custody Forms - include a COC form with all samples.


Holding Times - The maximum amount of time that can pass between sample collection and sample extraction/analysis is the Holding Time.  Click here to view an example Holding Time chart.

 

Other Resources