Water Sampling Instructions:

General Sampling Instructions

Download our General Water Sampling Instructions document.

VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) Sampling Instructions

Caution: Bottles marked “HCl preservative” contain small quantities of Hydrochloric acid. Avoid ingestion and skin contact. If contact does occur flush exposed skin area with water immediately. Flush eyes 15 minutes and get medical attention. If ingested seek medical attention immediately.

To test VOC’s you should have received 2 vials.  Each vial contains a small amount of Hydrochloric Acid which is used to preserve the sample. Do not discard this preservative.


  1. Take the two VOC vials and label them with sampling information including: date, time and the site location description.
  1. Turn on water from the point in which you want to collect the sample. Reduce the flow to a stream the size of a pen tip.
  1. Slowly fill the vials to a point just before they overflow the container. Avoid turbulence while filling.
  1. When filled correctly a small dome of water will appear on the top of the vial.
  1. Carefully place the cap on the vial and tighten it securely.
  1. Invert the vial and tap on the cap to check for air bubbles.

NOTE:    If bubbles are present, uncap the vial and add a little more water to again form the small dome of water. Carefully cap and seal the vial again.

  1. Fill the other VOC vial(s) using steps 2 through 6.
  1. Place vials in cooler. Fill a large zip lock bag with ice and place it in the cooler. Place paperwork in a second zip lock bag to keep it dry.  Ship the samples back to Clean Water Testing.  Samples must be received on ICE!


Lead and Copper Sampling Instructions*


To test for lead and copper coming from the plumbing (and the water source):

To evaluate the highest levels of lead and/or copper present, you should take a sample from the tap after the water has been held in the pipes for six hours or overnight.  Samples should be collected from the cold-water kitchen tap or bathroom sink tap.

  1. The night before, flush water through the faucet from which you plan to collect your sample from for about 10 minutes.
  1. Do not run any water in the house for the next 6 hours.
  1. Take the sample first thing in the morning before using any water. If you run water in the house before you take your sample, you will flush the lead out of the system.
  1. Fill the container up to the neck of the bottle and send it to Clean Water Testing.

If you wish, a second sample, taken after the water has flowed from the tap for ten to fifteen minutes, will show if flushing the line substantially decreases the lead and/or copper content.


To test for lead and copper coming from the water source:

Run the water for 10-15 minutes and take a hard water sample (untreated) while the pump is running.

If possible, obtain the sample as close to the well as possible to avoid any possible sources of lead or copper in the home.  The ideal location is usually from the sample tap located next to the pressure tank.

Fill the container up to the neck of the bottle and send it to Clean Water Testing.

*The instructions provided are simplified.  If you are collecting lead and copper samples for a public facility please see NR 809 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code for further instructions.