How much will it cost?
A sample taken from the City’s water supply is free. After a device, a well water sample, or HPC (heterotrophic plate count), and MPN (most probable number) bacteria tests are $12 for HPC test and $12 for coliform test.
Can I test my own water?
Yes. The Water Sample for Bacteriologic Examination form will need to be filled out. The instructions for sampling are found on the back of this form:
- Select a tap that is clean, free from leaking, has no aerator, screen, or treated water supply (soft water, ect.).
- This is to ensure that sample is checking the water for bacteria and not the tap.
- Let the water run 3 to 5 minutes (do not change flow of water after original setting).
- Remove lid carefully from sample bottle (do not touch inside of bottle or lid).
- Place bottle under running water and collect at least 100 ml of water (seal container immediately).
- Transport to lab ASAP (within 24 hours).
Can you run a sample that is not in a certified container?
Yes, but a qualifier will be noted in regards to the container not being certified.
- When using a container that is not sterile or does not have a chlorine neutralizer (sodium thiosulfate) the sample results may not be accurate.
- Data qualifiers are used in lab reports to indicate a problem or irregularity with the analytical result. (Results have less certainty with a container not certified sterile or without sodium thiosulfate.)
Can I bring in a sample from my cabin in Montana?
Yes, as long as it does not exceed the 30 hour hold time. (See below.)
What are the procedures and time constraints of sampling and bringing in a sample to be tested?
Samples need to be received in the lab ASAP and will be rejected for analysis of older than 30 hours from time of collection. If the sample will be analyzed, sample should be kept below 10°C (do not allow sample to freeze). If sample is to be analyzed for heterotrophic plate count (HPC), it must arrive within 6 hours of taking sample and lab must be notified.
- Samples should be submitted before 3:00 pm:
- Monday –Thursday for coliform; and,
- Monday – Wednesday for HPC.
- Not the day before a legal holiday.
Can you test a sample that I have filtered?
Yes, there is a $12 fee for any sample submitted to the lab and $12 for each test performed (HPC and coliform are separate test).