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The number of samples required depends upon water source type and population served.
View the Bacteriological Number of Samples Chart (PDF).
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One calendar month is the monitoring period for bacteriological (Total Coliform Rule) compliance.
Please take your sample the next Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday that does not fall on or around a holiday. The sample must be collected within the scheduled month.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment discontinued coliform testing of private well samples on August 1, 1989. Assuring the safety of private drinking water supplies really requires an assessment of the well location and construction as well as a site assessment for potential contaminants. For example, a poorly constructed well could be free of contaminants one day and then become highly contaminated the next after a heavy rainstorm washes contaminants into the well. A single sample is not a true indicator of the overall safety or purity of the water.
A list of private labs to sample well water or test for Cryptosporidium, or Giardia, can be found online.
Make sure that you keep these up to date at all times. If there are any changes please make sure that the Public Water Supply Section is notified at (785) 296-6340. The lab prepares kits for mailing about 6 weeks ahead of the collection date, so it is very important that you update your information as soon as possible. You can also print off a PWS Contact Change Form (PDF) and return it to:KDHE Bureau of Water1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 420Topeka KS 66612-1367
If your water system collects 6 or fewer routine samples per month, bottles are mailed from the KDHE lab to you via the U.S. Post Office on or around the 15th of the previous month. If you collect 7 or more routine samples per month, they are mailed to you via UPS on or around the 20th of the previous month. Your kits should arrive at you around the 1st of the month in which you need to collect them.
If you do not receive your collection kits by the 10th of the month, call 785-296-0971 for a replacement.
Pay close attention to the suggested collection date on the submission forms. Because the KDHE Laboratory sends the bottles out 10 to 15 days ahead of the month due, they can arrive in the month previous to the collection date. If you collect this bottle before the designated collection month, you might have collected too many samples in one month and not enough the next month and you might be out of compliance for the next month.
If the date, time, collection location or the collector's name is missing, we will call you one time using the number we have on file. We will leave a message with the clerk, secretary, or answering service for you to call us. You will have until 12 (noon) the next day to return the call, or we will reject the sample and send you a replacement (Yellow - REPL card) kit for you to collect another sample.
If you realize that you left off information after sending your sample, you can call the lab at 785-296-0971, and we can update your form when the sample arrives at the lab.
Yes, please do not rinse the bottle. The manufacturer adds sodium thiosulfate to each bottle prior to sterilization. Depending on the environmental conditions, the sodium thiosulfate could be liquid droplets or dry out and leave a powder. The sodium thiosulfate removes the chlorine from the sample and works in either liquid or powder form.
If the cap is loose but the safety seal is still intact, then the bottle should be OK! If the lid has fallen off, or you have a concern about the bottle integrity, then call 785-296-0971 for a new bottle.
If you have Total Coliform or E. Coli detected in a routine water sample:
Please call the KDHE lab at 785-296-0971, and we will send a replacement if needed. We would like to have the affected bottle number(s) at the time of the call and the submission form(s) for our records, so we ask that you send those form(s) in with your next sample and its completed paperwork.
You may collect it at any place on your registered site plan, but it is good practice to collect it at the original location.
Three repeat samples are required to be collected within 24 hours of learning of positive results if possible. One Repeat sample is required to be collected from the original coliform-positive site, one from within 5 service connections upstream of the original site, and one from within 5 service connections downstream of the original site.