Directions for Obtaining and Submitting Drinking Water for Bacteriologic Examination

Please read and follow all steps listed:

  1. Obtain a water sample kit from the Water Quality Laboratory. If the water source sampled contains no chlorine, the sample must be taken in a bottle with no preservative. Chlorinated samples must be sampled in a bottle that contains a dechlorinating agent (white powder in bottle). Be sure to request the appropriate bottle prior to sampling. Caution: DO NOT remove the bottle cap until just before filling.
  2. Remove the strainer from the faucet and open the tap fully. Let the water run to waste for five minutes. (In sampling from a mixing faucet remove the attachments such as the strainer screen, run the hot tap water fully open for two minutes then turn off the hot water tap. Now run the cold water for five minutes fully open.) Reduce the water flow to permit filling the bottle without splashing. DO NOT RINSE THE BOTTLE BEFORE FILLING. DO NOT CONTAMINATE THE INNER SURFACE OF THE SAMPLE BOTTLE.
  3. Water samples will be accepted at the Water Quality Laboratory, located on the third floor of Utica City Hall, Monday through Thursday (8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) The sample must be refrigerated, or kept on ice, from time of sampling until delivery to the Lab (be sure water sample does not freeze). A water sample that is being mailed must be taken on Monday or Tuesday and sent to the laboratory by Priority delivery (overnight service) and still meet ALL acceptance criteria. Sorry, no exceptions.
  4. Testing of raw samples must begin within 8 hours of sampling; for drinking water samples testing must begin within 30 hours of sampling. You must record a residual taken at the time of sampling for chlorinated samples. Raw source samples for quantitative (enumerated) E. coli tests must be chilled to <10°C for sample acceptance by the lab.
  5. Fill out the Bacteriological test form. Make sure to include name, location, and address of the sample, and the telephone number and address where the report is to be sent. If this sample is for New York State Health Department monitoring requirements please include the PWS# number on the form.
  6. This test requires 24-hours testing time to complete. Results will be sent by mail, fax, or email (as requested) when released by the Quality Assurance Officer. Standard turnaround time is 7-10 days.
  7. The cost per sample is $20 for presence/absence; $30 for a quantitative result. We accept cash, check, money order, credit or debit cards. Please make checks payable to MVWA.
  8. At its discretion, MVWA may subcontract your sample out to a contracted lab for any reason, including but not limited to workload volume, equipment failure, and issues related to quality control.

Fill Sample bottle to line shown in picture showing collection bottle fill line just above the horizontal line on jar

Telephone (315) 792-0301 USEPA ID#: NY01505 American Waterworks Association (AWWA)
Fax (315) 792-5201 New York State ELAP ID#: 10319 Water Research Foundation
One Kennedy Plaza
Utica, NY 13502
Pennsylvania DEP ID#: 68-03428 NYAAEL