How do I take the test?
An information sheet outlining the proper use of the kit will be included with the package. Please read these instructions completely before beginning your test.

You will want to locate a single, cold-water, interior faucet — preferably, the sample tap off your pressure tank — to draw your sample. If you have a water softener, you will want to use a faucet before the unit, or take it off-line while drawing your sample. Exterior frost-proof faucets are not suitable for sample taking, as they cannot be adequately disinfected. Do not use mixer-type faucets, such as those found in your kitchen or bath, as they too cannot be disinfected before sampling. Even in new homes with PVC water lines, the laundry connections will typically be brass and are often the best sampling choice.

After locating an appropriate sample faucet, follow these steps to collect your sample.

  1. Disconnect any hose or other device that my be attached to the faucet.
  2. Place a bucket underneath the faucet to prevent water from spilling onto the floor.
  3. Run the water momentarily to flush out any debris which may have accumulated in the spout.
  4. Using a propane torch or a long butane lighter (such as those used for lighting grills and fireplaces) flame the opening of the faucet for 10-15 seconds. (Caution: Do not apply heat to a plastic faucet.) This will kill any bacteria that might be in the spout. (Be Careful to flame only the opening area and do not exceed 10 to 15 seconds! Doing otherwise might cause a fire.)
  5. Briefly allow the water to run into the bucket, cooling the spout and assuring fresh water will be drawn.
  6. Twist open the lid of the sample bottle, without touching the inner surfaces. You may notice small droplets of liquid in the bottle. This is normal and should not be washed out. It is a chemical necessary to providing an accurate sample.
  7. Fill the sample bottle up to the fill line, then replace the cap.
  8. Once you have drawn your sample, fill out the paperwork included with the test kit; include your name, address, the time and date you draw the test, and the sample number written on the side of the bottle. Enclose this sheet with your sample and seal the box using the mailing label provided.
  9. You may either mail the sample yourself using the United Postal Service's Priority Mail, or you may return the sample to our office where it will be picked up by a courier. In either instance, the lab must receive the sample within 48 hours, or it will be refused. To prevent this, we recommend that you draw your sample on a weekday, no later than Wednesday. If you choose to utilize our courier service, the samples must be brought to the Division of Environmental Health and Protection no later than 1 p.m.

The sample reports will be mailed to you, usually within 10 days. If you do not receive your results within 2 weeks, contact the Missouri state lab at 573-751-3334.

Show All Answers

1. Where may I obtain a private water supply test kit, and how much do they cost?
2. What will the lab be testing my water to discover?
3. How do I take the test?
4. My water sample report came back "Unsatisfactory". What does that mean?
5. Is this serious?
6. What will we need to do to take care of this situation?
7. How soon after disinfection should I take a follow-up sample?
8. My sample came back "unsatisfactory" again. Now what do I do?
9. What types of problems can cause on-going contamination?
10. My water system and septic system have been examined and we could not find the source of contamination. What can I do to assure a safe water supply?
11. My water smells awful, almost like rotten eggs! Why is that?
12. My water has a metallic taste and/or I see rust stains in my plumbing fixtures and on my clothes. Why?
13. When my water sits in a glass, sediment forms in the bottom. Why?
14. My physician told me to have my water tested for fluoride and/or nitrates. Can you help me?