Microbiology/Coliform Bacteria Sampling Instructions

A specially preserved 125 mL sterilized plastic sample bottle is required for this test. Use only a bottle provided by Anatek Labs, Inc. or a health department.

Click here to view video sampling instructions

Read the sampling instructions below before beginning to collect samples.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before opening the bottle.

    Do not wash out the white preservative powder

  2. Select a clean faucet. Avoid collecting from a swivel or hinged faucet, since bacteria regrowth can occur in the cracks.
  3. Remove all screens, strainers or aerators, and allow the water to run for 5 minutes before taking the sample.
  4. Do NOT rinse the bottle! It contains a preservative that may look like a powder or pellet.
  5. Remove and discard the plastic seal from the cap (do NOT leave the seal on the cap). Do not remove the cap from the bottle until just before taking the sample. Do not let the inside surface of the cap or the lip of the bottle touch anything, especially your fingers.
  6. Fill the bottle between the 100mL and the 120mL lines.  Be sure to leave some headspace between the water level and the cap.

    Fill bottle between the 100 and 120 mL lines

  7. Use a permanent marker to clearly label the bottle with the collection date, time and location.
  8. Coliform samples must reach the lab within 30 hours of collection. Samples older than 30 hours cannot be tested.
  9. Keep samples refrigerated or cold (if possible) until you submit them to the lab. Do not let samples freeze.