Frequently Asked Questions 

FAQs: General | Rabies Laboratory  | Well Water

Well Water Testing

Answers are not for regulated water supplies.
Additional information about submitting a sample can be found at Private Water Testing

Q: Where can I drop off a sample specimen?

Answer: The Specimen Receiving Laboratory accepts samples M-F 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the back door of the laboratory. This is the entrance off Palm Street labeled the “Sample Receiving Dock.”

Q: Is the water from my pond safe for my fish or livestock to drink?

Answer: The tests done at the Public Health Laboratory help determine the safety of drinking water for human consumption. The lab does not evaluate water for any other purpose.

Q: Can private citizens submit samples to be analyzed for minerals, parasites, chemicals, etc.?

Answer: No. Private citizens can only submit samples to be test for total coliforms and E. coli , which are indicators of bacterial contamination in drinking water (Remember to enclose the $17.00 fee). For any other testing consult a private laboratory. If you have a public health concern (such as an illness), consult your county environmental specialist or the ADH division of engineering for assistance.

Q: How do I treat my well if I get an “unsafe” report on my water?

Answer: Consult your public water utility or the ADH Division of Engineering.

Q: How soon does the lab need to receive my sample after it is collected?

Answer: We must receive your sample in time to analyze it within 48 hours of collection.

Q: I don't have one of the ADH sample bottles. May I use another container?

Answer: No. You must use the official ADH sample container. Other containers may contaminate your sample.

Q: Why is there a white table or white powder in the sample bottle? Should I rinse or wipe it out?

Answer: The tablet or powder in your bottle is a chemical called sodium thiosulfate, and it is necessary to the testing process. It should not be rinsed or wiped out.

Q: Why must I fill the sample bottle to the line on the bottle?

Answer: The method used to test your water is specific for 100 mL of water. The line on the bottle denotes 100 mL. If the bottle is not filled to the line we cannot test the sample because one of the testing requirements has not met. Therefore, we could not stand behind the results. Note: Fill the sample bottle to the fill line on the bottle not the line on the bottle seal.

Q: If I forget to fill out the form before I submit my sample, what should I do?

Answer: Resubmit your sample with a completed sample collection report. The original sample must be rejected. Without a completed sample collection report, we do not have the information we need to analyze your sample.

Q: What happens to the sampling fee ($17.00) that I paid if you reject me sample?

Answer: A credit will be issued. You will receive a credit letter along with a new sample bottle and collection report. You should collect a new sample, complete the collection report, and send them back to ADH together with the credit letter that you received.

Note : We must receive your sample in time to analyze it within 48 hours of collection.

Q: May I wait for my sample's results when I bring my sample to your laboratory?

Answer: No. A 24 hour incubation period is one of the steps required in the analysis of the water sample.