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General Instructions for Drinking Water Sample Collection in Indiana

  • COLLECT THE SAMPLE (see directions for collection)

  • DESCRIBE THE SAMPLE on the chain of custody. (We will supply this form when you pick up sample bottles.)

  • The regulations of the Indiana State of Department of Health provide that samples of water shall not be examined unless they are collected in containers furnished for that purpose and the description forms are filled out completely


Collecting the Sample


  • You should use cold water for all samples


  • Collecting the sample for Lead- 500mL bottle

    If required to collect a lead sample, the sample should be collected as the “first draw”. This is the first time the faucet is used for the day. In some cases, the “first draw” is not feasible. If this should happen, take the lead sample first. Do not run the water for any length of time. Fill the sample container to the shoulder of the bottle. Screw the cap on the bottle sufficiently tight to prevent leakage.


  • Collection the sample for N-N-N- 250mL bottle

    This sample can be collected after the above sample has been taken. Fill the sample container to the shoulder of the bottle. Screw the cap on the bottle sufficiently tight to prevent leakage.


  • Collection the sample for Total Coliform

    A dechlorinating agent has been added to the bottle. It appears as a white powder. It is Sodium Thiosulfate. Do not wash or rinse the bottle out. The purpose of the bottle containing thiosulfate is to destroy the chlorine present at the moment the sample is collected. Sodium Thiosulfate prevents the killing action of the chlorine on the bacteria while the sample is being transported to the lab. Water samples which contain chlorine residuals when they reach the lab will not be examined.

    A drinking water sample shall be taken from a tap such as a faucet, peacock, or small valve. No sample shall be taken from a fire or yard hydrant or a drinking fountain. Kitchen sinks, threaded hose bibs, softened or treated water lines, and spigots with screens or aerators are poor sampling points and should be used only if better sampling points are not available.

    When the sample is to be collected from a tap, use cold water and remove the aerator first. Then, disinfect the faucet with chlorine (household bleach) by filling a cup and immersing the faucet. Next allow the water to run freely for at least five minutes to flush out pipes and fixtures. Time by a watch; do not guess.

    Remove the screw cap being careful not to touch or otherwise contaminate the inside part of the cap, the neck, or inside the bottle itself.

    Reduce flow of water in tap to a steady stream about the size of a pencil. Fill above the 100 mL line on the bottle, but do not overflow the bottle with water. Replace the screw cap tightly.

  • Sample receiving hours are Monday -Thursday 8am -4:00pm ONLY

  • Payments are due upon sample receipt. Electronic payments preferred. Checks are payable to Utility Services. Returned checks $50.00

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