Drinking Water Testing

Drinking Water Testing Services

drinking water testing

Accredited by the Washington State Department of Ecology, Sound Microbiology Laboratory performs quality bacteriological Drinking Water Testing and Analysis (including Well Waters). Our testing detects the enumeration of Total Coliforms, E. coli, and Fecal Coliforms under the Total Coliform Rule (TCR), Groundwater Treatment Rule (GWR) and Source Water Treatment Rule (SWTR)—drinking water standards developed by government agencies to help ensure water quality safety. Visit the Center for Disease Control’s website for more information about water testing standards at Water Quality & Testing and other drinking water topics atDrinking Water, or the Washington Department of Ecology’s website for more information about drinking water in your home. Please note, we do not perform chemical analyses such as lead, arsenic, iron and nitrates.

Quick Turn-Around Time

You can choose to receive results via secure email or hardcopy via mail. For samples delivered to the lab by noon (time varies by drop box location), you can receive an email report by the end of the next business day*. Sound Microbiology Laboratory is working with the Washington State Office of Drinking Water to set up a system for electronic delivery of data, allowing for quick regulatory reporting of results or resolution of previously unsatisfactory samples. To see a sample Drinking Water Analysis report, go to our Lab Results and Reports page.

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Collect samples in sterile polypropylene or other approved sample containers with leak-proof lids. You’ll need to collect at least 100 milliliters of water for your sample. If you don’t have the proper container contact us at (206) 842-2143 and we can provide you with containers. For more detailed instructions, go to Collecting Drinking Water Samples for Bacterial Analysis in the last section below.

Need someone to collect your drinking water samples for you? We provide on-site collection services in Kitsap County. Contact us for more information.

Submit Samples for Drinking Water Analysis

    1. Samples must be delivered to the lab or submitted to Sound Microbiology Laboratory’s Sample Drop Box within 24 hours of collection. See our Sample Drop Box locations and schedules.
  1. Complete both sides of the Sample Lab Slip Form and rubber-band it securely to the bottle.
  2. Submit one Sample Lab Slip Form per sample along with payment into the drop-box. SML accepts Check and Credit Card payments. DO NOT submit cash. We do not accept cash payments.
    • Check Payments: Please rubber-band your check to the bottle with the Sample Lab Slip Form. Your returned check will be your receipt
    • Credit Card Payments: Please ensure that you’ve included your phone number on the Sample Lab Slip Form front.  We will call you to process your credit card information. (Sound Microbiology Laboratory does not retain any credit card information and a receipt is sent via email.)
    • Be sure to mark the check box on the back of the Sample Lab Slip Form how you would like to receive your report: mailed or emailed to you
    • For electronic copies include your e-mail address in the space provided on the back of the Sample Lab Slip Form.
    • For hardcopies make sure you’ve included your mailing address in the “Send results to” section on the front of the Sample Lab Slip form.

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*Submitted samples must meet Sound Microbiology Laboratory collection criteria and payments must complete verification. Valid only for email reports. Sound Microbiology Laboratory sample collection criteria can be found on the back of the Lab Slip or below.

Collecting Drinking Water Samples for Bacteriological Analysis

Collect samples in sterile polypropylene or other approved sample containers with leak-proof lids. At least 100 milliliters of water needs to be collected. If you don’t have the proper container contact us at (206) 842-2143 and we can provide you with containers.

We recommend using the following steps when collecting your sample:

  • Follow your Coliform Monitoring Plan to collect routine and repeat samples from sites throughout the distribution system.
  • Sample taps should represent the water in your distribution system. Avoid poor sample sites such as swivel faucets, hot and cold mixing faucets (with a single lever), leaky or spraying faucets, drinking fountains, janitorial sinks, frost-free hose bibs, and faucets below or near ground level.
  • Remove any attachments from the faucet, including aerators, screens, washers, hoses, and water filters. If you choose to disinfect the sample site prior to sample collection, be sure to flush thoroughly to remove all disinfectant.
  • Turn on the cold water only and let it run with a steady stream for at least five minutes. Before collecting the sample, turn the water down to a thin stream (about the width of a pencil), then let the water run one minute. If the system is chlorinated, measure the free chlorine residual and note the measurement on the lab slip.
  • There may be some liquid or powder in the sample bottle to neutralize chlorine. Do not rinse it out.
  • To avoid contamination while taking the sample, hold the bottle near the bottom with one hand, hold the top of the cap with the other, and then unscrew the cap.
  • Do not set the cap down, touch any part of the cap that touches the bottle, or let anything touch the rim of the bottle or the inside of the cap.
  • Hold the bottle under the stream of water. Be careful not to let the bottle touch the sample tap. Fill the bottle to the neck or indicated fill line, but do not allow it to overflow. Remove the bottle from the water flow and replace the cap.
  • Complete the lab slip on the other side of this form. If there was anything unusual about the sample collection, note it on the lab slip.
  • Secure the lab slip to the bottle with the rubber band. Deliver the sample directly to SML or to a designated drop-off location. Lab analysis must begin within 30 hours of sample collection.
  • Sound Microbiology Laboratory will only test samples that meet the sampling collection and transportation minimum requirements listed above.

If you have questions about coliform sampling collection procedures, call us at (206) 842-2143.

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