Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content

Microbiology Water Lab

Environmental Health - Contact Us


$25.00 per bottle (two bottles suggested for private well testing)

Micro-bacteriological Analysis:

Total Coliform

Fecal Coliform

Drinking water samples can be analyzed through this section. If your water supply is provided by private well, you should have your water tested for bacteria annually. If you are experiencing gastrointestinal illness, a microbiological analysis of your drinking water is recommended.

Water samples can be submitted for analysis in bottles provided by this department Monday through Thursday prior to 4:00pm. Sample results will be available the day following submittal at 4:45pm.

Instructions for Collection of Water Samples 

  1. Remove the faucet’s aerator or strainer if one is present.
  2. Allow the water from the faucet and well to run a minimum of five (5) minutes at full flow before sampling.
  3. Close faucet to a stream of water the size of a pencil; let water flow for one (1) minute.
  4. Remove lid from the sample container. Do not allow the chlorine neutralizer (white dust) to fall out of the container or be rinsed out.
  5. Carefully fill sample container with water to the 100ml mark located on the side of the sample container. Do not touch the lip or inside of the sterile container with anything but the clean catch water sample.
  6. It is best if one sample is taken outside the house close to the well. The other sample from in the home either the bathroom or kitchen sink.
  7. After sampling, place lid on the sample container carefully and tighten.
  8. Write the system name on the "top" of the sample container. Mark sample container as to where the sample was taken, i.e. well, bathroom, kitchen.
  9. You must preserve the sample on ice or your sample WILL NOT be accepted.

Water Acceptance Policy 

  • Samples must be submitted with the proper labeling that allows for traceability to the sample record. Improperly labeled samples will be rejected.
  • Samples must be in the proper container, free of leaks. Containers that are broken or cracked will be rejected.
  • All samples received are checked for temperature and method of delivery at the time of drop off. Temperature measurements are completed by an electronic recording device. Samples exceeding 24 degrees C will be rejected and/or a sample exception record will be generated.
  • Chlorinated samples lacking chlorine concentration documentation will be rejected.
  • Samples received in excess of 100 ml. will be accepted if adequate air space exists to ensure proper mixing of the solution. If inadequate air space exists to complete mixing, the sample will be rejected and/or a sample exception record will be generated.
  • All samples with less than 100 ml. volume will be rejected.
  • Samples may be received with interferences (high turbidity, discoloration, and smell) due to high iron compounds, organic material and calcium carbonate precipitants. In such cases where analysis may be affected, a sample exception record will be generated. A sample resubmission may be requested.
  • Samples must be received within 15 hours of being drawn.  A sample submitted after this deadline will be rejected.

Procedure for Sanitization of Private Water System 

"Well Shock Instructions:

NOTE: The following procedure applies to an average three bedroom single family dwelling. It may require repetition if a significant amount of sediment is agitated during the initial treatment. This procedure is intended to reflect the provisions of Chapter 64E-8.007 (5)(b), Corrective Actions, of the Florida Administrative Code, which addresses the procedure to be taken in order to remediate bacterial contamination of a private well. This section states, "Interrupt service and maintain a 50mg/L solution of free available chlorine, or its equivalent, throughout the system for three hours; and reduce the concentration to 4.0 mg/L prior to service being restored." In the absence of chlorine testing equipment, use the following guidelines:

  1. Mix 2 gallons of household bleach/chlorine with approximately the same amount of water in a plastic container. AVOID INHALING FUMES.
  2. Turn off pump switch
  3. Remove cap or plug at top of well casing and pour the bleach/chlorine and water mixture into the well using a plastic funnel or similar device.
  4. Replace well cap or plug and ensure that it is airtight.
  5. Start pump.
  6. Turn on the faucet/spigot closet to the well and let the water run until you can smell bleach/chlorine, then shut that faucet/spigot off. Repeat this procedure at each faucet/spigot outside and inside the house (including showers/tubs), working from the well to the furthest faucet/spigot. Flush all toilets once.
  7. Allow the bleach/chlorine mixture to remain in the system for a minimum of four hours. We recommend that the solution be left in the system over night.
  8. After the minimum four hours have elapsed, open up all the faucets/spigots (one at a time) and allow them to run until odor has dissipated.
  9. Use this system for 3-5 days then collect another sample from the same two locations as was tested previously, even if one of the samples was satisfactory.