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State of Alaska > DEC > EH > Laboratory Services > Lab Sample Submission Manual > Drinking Water 

Lab Sample Submission Manual:
Drinking Water
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Guidelines for Submitting Drinking Water Samples

All sample submissions must be pre-authorized by EHL prior to sample collection.   

For drinking water, processing water, wastewater or recreational water bacteriological analysis, each sample must be properly collected in a sterile 150mL bottle as noted in the Sample Collection Procedure.  Minimum sample volume is 100 mL; do not fill bottle above the neck. 

Complete the Drinking Water or Dairy Water Analysis Work order, for each sample submitted.  To better serve your needs, it is critical that you submit all applicable information about your water sample.  This ensures that the EHL Micro Lab analyzes your sample appropriately, and processes the final report as required.  The person collecting the sample, or client representative, must sign the Work order.

Safely pack the bottle in bubble wrap and include a temperature blank in the cooler. Carefully pack your sample to safeguard from damage during shipping. Protect the work order by placing in a Ziploc® bag and pack with the sample.   

 

Most samples must be analyzed within 30 hours from collection and must be received during normal business hours.  Water samples are accepted Monday through Thursday.

Please call (907) 375-8231 to notify EHL of the shipping flight and anticipated arrival time. Do not send samples by postal mail.

 

Taking A Total Coliform Bacteria Sample Properly

Sometimes water samples fail a total coliform bacteria test because of sampling error, not because the water system is actually contaminated. To ensure that this does not happen to you follow these steps when taking a coliform sample from your water system:

Step One:

DO NOT RINSE OUT THE BOTTLE
The powder in the bottle is meant to be there and will not contaminate your sample.

Step Two:

WASH YOUR
HANDS

Prior to taking the
sample. Then
remove the sterile
strip from the
bottle.

Step 3:

REMOVE FAUCET
SCREEN

Or other hoses or
aerators from the
end of the faucet.
If possible avoid
using a faucet that
swivels.

Step 4:

DISINFECT THE
FAUCET

By dipping the end
in a cap full of
bleach before
running the water.
This is optional but
is a good idea.

Step 5:

RUN COLD
WATER FOR AT
LEAST 2
MINUTES

To ensure that the
water you are
sampling has not
been sitting in the
pipes or tanks for
a long time.

Step 6:

TURN THE
WATER DOWN

So it does not
splash. Fill the
bottle to at least
the fill line (100
ml). Do not fill it
all the way up to
the top, allow 1”
head space.

Step 7:

SCREW CAP ON
TIGHTLY

Take special care
not to touch the
inside of the cap or
bottle.
If you do, start with
a new bottle.

Step 8:

FILL OUT
PAPERWORK
AND MAIL IT IN

Keep a copy for
your files. Pack the
sample in a
Styrofoam
container or bubble
wrap when mailing
so the bottle
doesn't break.

If you're in a remote area, make sure you know the scheduled flights, and verify if the flight will be in. Take the sample as close to departure as possible.

Important! The lab must receive the sample when they are open and within 30 hours of collection.

Keep the sample cool, but DO NOT Freeze!

For more information or questions, call our Sample Receiving department at 907-375-8231, or email us at DEC.EH-Lab-ShippingReceiving@alaska.gov and our friendly staff will help.


 
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