Environmental Health - Microbiology Water Lab
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.
Samples are analyzed at the Alachua County Health Department Bacteriological Lab. The samples are time sensitive. Therefore it is important to follow the instructions and have your sample turned in on the days and times noted.
Laboratory Director: Anthony Dennis, Alachua County Health Department (352) 334-7931
NELAP Certified E22701
Return Water Samples To:
Levy County Health Department
Environmental Health Section
66 West Main Street
Bronson, FL 32621
Water Samples Accepted:
Wednesday: 8:00am - 3:00pm (Collect samples all day, bring before 3PM)
NO SAMPLES ACCEPTED on days prior to a holiday
Results Available: Thursday after 4:45pm
Micro-bacteriological Analysis: Total Coliform, Fecal Coliform
- $30.00 per bottle (Two bottles suggested for private well testing.)
Instructions for Collection of Water Samples
- Remove the faucetís aerator or strainer if one is present.
- Allow the water from the faucet and well to run a minimum of
five (5) minutes at full flow before sampling.
- Close faucet to a stream of water the size of a pencil; let water flow for one (1) minute.
- Remove lid from the sample container. Do not allow the chlorine neutralizer (white dust)
to fall out of the container or be rinsed out.
- 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.
- 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.
- After sampling, place lid on the sample container carefully and tighten.
- 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.
- You must preserve the sample on ice or your sample WILL NOT be accepted.
Bac-T 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.
Procedure for Sanitation 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:
- Mix 2 gallons of household bleach/chlorine with approximately the same amount of water in a plastic container.
AVOID INHALING FUMES.
- Turn off pump switch
- 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.
- Replace well cap or plug and ensure that it is airtight.
- Start pump.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.