Water Analyses

Georgia clients are encouraged to visit their local Extension office for sample submission and consultation.

The Extension office will assist you with sampling, bottles, soil bags, and fees.

If you would like to submit samples directly to the lab:

1. Choose A Test And Fill Out A Form

Featured Tests
W1 - Basic Water Test

pH, Hardness, P, K, Ca, Al, B, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, Ni, SiO2, Na, Zn (Minimum Sample Amt.: 125mL)

Fee: $20.00*

W2 - GA. Expanded Water Test

(required for water treatment design) W1-Basic, W3-Anions, W11-Soluble Salts, & W18-Alkalinity (Need 16 oz./500 mL)

Fee: $60.00*

W6 - Nitrate-N

(NO3-N) (Cd reduction colorimetric) (Minimum Sample Amt.: 125mL)

Fee: $12.00*

W33B - Home Loan Closing

W42 (Pb)+W6 (Nitrate)+W7 (Nitrite)+W35 (Total Coliform/E. coli) These four tests are commonly required for home closings. Ask your lending agency for specific details. Contact AESL to inquire about expedited analysis.

Fee: $85.00*

W35 - Total Coliform / E. coli (Colilert®)

Requires sample in a special bottle. Drinking Water, Irrigation Water, GAP Program - Please download appropriate forms at: http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/forms under Microbiological Forms. For EPD Compliance / Regulatory samples, contact the lab for the appropriate submission form.
(Samples accepted Monday-Thursday 8:00am - 4:00pm)

Fee: $36.00

2. Collect A Sample

Water samples for submission to the laboratories vary as to the type of container and volume appropriate for different tests. Much time can be saved if water is initially sampled in the correct container.

Sample Containers

Appropriate sampling containers for water testing for "Home Loan Closing (W33B)", "Pond Water Quality and Algae (W34D)", "Microbiological Tests (W35, W37, and W39)", and "Radon (W44)" are available to Extension Service County Agents from AESL (706-542-5350).

Sampling containers for all other water tests are available to Extension Service County Agents from the University of Georgia Extension Storekeeper, Hoke Smith Annex (706-542-8844). Wastewater samples should be submitted in the appropriate container, either plastic or glass depending on the tests needed. Research samples should be submitted in appropriate containers - contact AESL if you need bottles. Visit our website for specific sample container requirements (http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/samplecontainers).

Many of the chemical parameters are time sensitive, which means that there is a specified amount of time that the sample can be held before testing procedures must begin. Table 1 contains the minimum sample size, preservatives, and maximum holding times for commonly requested water tests. On time sensitive samples (less than 7 days), the laboratory should be contacted for scheduling.

Sample Collection Techniques

Appropriate sample collection procedures for water testing for "Home Loan Closing (W33B)", "Private Well Chemical Test (W33C)", "Pond Water Quality and Algae (W34D)", "Microbiological Tests (W35, W37, and W39)", and "Radon (W44)" are included on the respective submission forms.

For all other well water tests, in the past, except when testing for lead, the recommended sample collection technique for drinking water from wells was to collect water from the spigot closest to the well head and to let water run for 10-15 minutes before collecting the sample. This procedure was designed to address groundwater quality excluding the effects from the household plumbing, storage tank, well construction, and pump.

We now recommend that all drinking water samples be collected from the first draw water out of the kitchen faucet or from the faucet used most often for drinking. Please follow three basic protocols when collecting a drinking water sample:
1. A first draw water sample will be collected (after a minimum of 6 hours, but not more than 12-hour period) during which time there was no water usage prior to the sampling. The GA-EPD recommends that either early morning or evening upon returning home are the best sampling times to ensure that the necessary stagnant water conditions exist.
2. A kitchen or bathroom cold-water faucet is to be used for sampling. If the primary concern is the well pump, draw the water from as near the well head as possible.
3. Place a clean sample container below the faucet and gently open the cold water tap. Completely fill all sample bottles.

For Microbiology testing (i.e. Bacteria), follow 5 basic protocols when collecting a drinking water sample:
1. Select an inside faucet that is clean and not leaking.
2. Remove any faucet attachments such as filters, aerators, screens, splashguards, or water-saver valves.
3. Sanitize the faucet inside and out by dipping the faucet neck into undiluted chlorine bleach (do not use color-safe bleach).
4. Open tap fully and flush the faucet and pipes by running water for 3 minutes. If sampling from a faucet that mixes hot and cold water, run hot water for 3 minutes, then cold water for 3 minutes. Do not turn off the water, but reduce the flow to avoid splashing.
5. Uncap the sample bottle without touching the inside of the cap or bottle, fill the bottle above the 100 mL line, but not completely full and recap. Please note that the white substance in the bottle is a dechlorinating agent, which is essential. Fill the bottle only once; do not rinse.

Ponds and streams should be sub-sampled at various depths and positions across the body of water. Sub-samples should then be combined to create one sample. Wastewater samples should be collected per the requirements of the permit.

3. Deliver Your Sample

UGA Staff:

Water bottles, Soil bags, Boxes, and Mailing supplies

Visit: https://secure.caes.uga.edu/SupplyList/

Georgia clients: Locate Your County Extension Office

Out-Of-State Clients: Deliver your sample to our mailing address.

This number will connect you to the UGA Extension Office in the County where your phone is registered: 1-800-ASK-UGA1