How to Collect a Livestock Drinking Water Sample

Bottle for Chemical Parameters (Yellow Label): Required for all test packages

For both the WL01 and WL02 packages, you will need to collect a water sample in the larger sample bottle with the yellow label. This bottle is used for all of the chemical analyses (pH, nitrate, iron, sulfate, etc.).

It is recommended that you collect this sample at a faucet after any water treatment equipment and before any water troughs, bowls or tanks. Run the water from the faucet for five minutes. Fill the bottle to the top and screw the lid on tightly to prevent leakage. Refrigerate the sample until you are ready to send it to the laboratory.

Bacteria Sample Bottle (Green Label): Required for WL02 test package only

If you have selected the WL02 package, you should also collect water in the small, clear bottle with the green label for coliform bacteria analysis. It is important that you use the correct bottle for the bacteria sample because only the bottle with the green label has been sterilized to prevent bacterial contamination of the sample.

It is recommended that you also collect the bacteria sample at a location after any water treatment devices but before any water troughs, bowls or tanks. A sample collected at a faucet before a watering trough will determine the bacterial quality of the groundwater being used to water the animals. If results from this bacteria sample indicate a problem or if you have additional concerns about possible bacterial contamination entering the watering troughs, you may want to follow-up this sampling with a future, additional sample taken directly from a water trough or bowl (see footnote below).

,p>Turn on the faucet and allow the water to run for about five minutes to purge water from the plumbing and pipes to draw fresh water from the water supply (note: if you have already run the water for five minutes to collect the sample for chemical analysis above, you do not need to run the water again for this sample). It is important that you do not touch or otherwise contaminate the inside of the bottle or cap. Carefully remove the lids from the sample bottle and hold the cap by the outside of the cap (if you touch the inside of the cap or bottle, you could contaminate the sample with bacteria). Fill the container with water to the line marked “100 mL”. Screw the lid on tightly to prevent leakage.

Remember to refrigerate the samples until you are ready to send them to the laboratory. Keep in mind that water sampled for bacteria analysis must reach the laboratory within 30 hours of collection to produce accurate results.

Place all sample bottles into the cooler provided with the kit. Be sure to also fill the 2 bags with fresh ice as labeled. Place all sample bottles and ice bags into the large plastic bag and seal it closed and place into cooler. Include completed submission form on top of the cooler inside the cardboard mailer box.

Send the sample cooler to the laboratory so that it arrives at the laboratory within 30 hours of sampling and no later than Thursday of any given week.

A Note about Sample Location:

Bacteria levels increase dramatically in water taken directly from watering troughs or bowls due to contamination from the animals contact with the water. The amount of bacteria in the troughs will be related to the number of animals using the site and the cleaning and sanitation frequency of the trough. If you are interested in determining the bacteria concentration directly in the water trough, bowl or tank, please contact Bryan Swistock 814-863-0194 before submitting this sample. It is better to first determine the bacterial quality of the water entering the troughs before conducting further sampling in the trough itself.

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