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Residential Well Program

Sampling Your Well Water

How to Sample Your Drinking Water for Total Coliform Bacteria This sample bottle is sterile and contains a dechlorinating compound. Do Not open the bottle until the moment it is to be filled. To collect the water sample:

  1. Remove any strainers or aerators from the faucet. Rub the outside and inside of the faucet or spigot with rubbing alcohol or bleach. Open the faucet and allow the water to run for four to five minutes.
  2. Without changing the flow from the faucet, remove the bottle's cap and fill the bottle up to about one inch from the top. Be careful not to touch either the inside of the bottle or the cap. Do not let water splash from your hands into the bottle. replace the cap.
  3. Fill out all the information on the enclosed sample form that applies to you. You must fill out your name, your mailing address, daytime telephone number and the date and time the sample was collected.
  4. Take the sample immediately to your county health department or your District EQC Office.
  5. If you have any questions about sampling your well water, please contact the Bureau of Water at (803) 898-4300.

Please Note: A total coliform sample must be received in the SCDHEC Laboratory within 30 hours after collection. DHEC accepts samples on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. Samples received more than 30 hours after collection will not be analyzed.


Bureau of Water . Phone: (803) 898-4300 . Fax: (803) 898-3795 . Contact Us