OCL Analytical Services

NELAP Certified Environmental Laboratory


Sampling for Bacteriological Analyses (sanitary sampling method)


1. Use a sterile sample bottle provided by the laboratory. Do not open this bottle until the sample is to be taken.


2. Be very careful that only the water to be analyzed comes in contact with the inside of the bottle or cap. DO NOT rinse out the sample bottle.


3. Remove the strainer from the faucet.


4. Disinfect the faucet thoroughly to prevent contamination of the sample (use of rubbing alcohol is suggested).


5. Allow the cold water tap to run for at least five minutes before collecting the sample.


6. When filling the bottle, hold the bottle in such a way that no water will contact the hand and run into the bottle. Fill the bottle up to the neck, not just to the 100ml line.


7. Label the bottle with sample location, date and time.


8. Refrigerate or keep cool until delivery to lab.


9. Deliver the sample to the lab within 24 hours.



Sampling for the Lead and Copper Rule


To test for lead and copper contamination from service lines (copper pipes, lead solder, lead pipes) a one liter sample is required.


A liter of water should be collected from the cold water tap after the water has sat in the pipes a minimum of six hours. DO NOT run the water first. This First Draw sample is meant to test for copper and lead leaching into the water from the pipes.



Sampling for metals and inorganic chemicals


When sampling for metals and inorganics, a sanitary sampling procedure is not required.  Just run the cold water for a few minutes to flush the lines and get water coming from the well (or from the distribution system for municipal or private water systems). Make sure you have the proper containers for the testing you want done.


Some analytes require special preservatives and bottles.  A few of the more common ones are listed here.


Hydrogen Sulfide - Zinc acetate preservative, no air space in filled container.


Alkalinity - No air space in filled container.


VOC's (Volatile Organics) - 40ml septum vials with hydrochloric acid preservative, no air space in filled container.


Certain other analyses require special containers and preservatives as well. Laboratory personnel will inform you of any special requirements.

Sampling Instructions