Water Analysis

Water testing consists of chemical and bacteriological analyses of drinking water to determine the water quality. Private & public swimming pools, ponds, bathing beaches and other recreational waters may also be tested for bacteria. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends yearly testing of private well water.

Drinking Water

Steps to follow to have your drinking water tested:

  1. Obtain a sterile collection bottle and instructions from the Laboratory (Room 102):
    Weekdays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  2. Collect the sample from your cold water tap following the instructions provided, and complete the test requisition form
  3. Keep the sample cold until it is returned to the Laboratory.
  4. Deliver the sample to the Laboratory within 24 hours of collection. Samples are accepted:
    Mon, Tues, Wed: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (except during holidays)
  5. To receive your results, call or visit the laboratory after 4:00 pm on Fridays. You may also submit a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your sample to receive results through the mail, or provide an email address.

Mailing kits for Type I, Type II, and Type III water supplies are available upon request. Kits are subject to a fee, call (989) 758-3825 for additional information.

Recreational Water

Private & public swimming pools, ponds, bathing beaches and other recreational waters may be tested for bacteria. Follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a collection bottle from the Laboratory with the proper preservative,
  2. Collect water and complete the proper requisition form:
    • For pools and spas, click here
    • For beach/surface waters, click here
  3. Return the sample and completed form to the laboratory for testing:
    • Pools
      • Submit samples: Monday only, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
      • Pool samples submitted outside of this time frame will require prior approval
      • Results available Thursday after 4:00 pm
    • Ponds, bathing beaches & other
      • Submit samples: Tuesday - Thursday before 3:00 pm
      • Results available 30 hours after sample received by laboratory

Please see our complete list of water testing fees below. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit/debit card. (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover). An enhanced access fee will be assessed on the total amount of the credit/debit card payment.

Nitrate and Nitrate Only $17
Regulatory Well Water Testing (Coliform and N/N) $32
Pool/Spa Testing $33
Pool/Spa Sample Late Submission $5
Coliform Qualitative $19
Coliform Quantitative $25
Limited Water Chemistry (Anion) $20
PH Analysis $15
Legionella Testing in Water   $85
Dairy Coliform $19
Rice Water Testing $18


Evaluation of bacteriological quality of drinking water is done using “coliform” testing for a group of bacteria found in the intestinal tract of warm blooded animals, surface water, and some soils and decaying vegetation. Coliform bacteria are used as “indicator” organisms. If they are present, pathogenic, or disease-causing organisms, could be present.

Result Interpretation
Coliform: <1 or Not detected No coliform organisms were detected in the water sample. The sample meets the State drinking water standard for bacteriological quality.
Coliform: 1 or more colony forming units (cfu), or Detected Coliform organisms were found in the sample. Safety cannot be assured. Collection of a another sample to confirm the original result is recommended. This sample does not meet the State standards for drinking water for bacteria.
Fecal Coliform found Fecal organisms were detected. These organisms are found un the intestines of warm-blooded animals, and this is an indication of contamination of sewage in the water supply. Immediate action is required, please consult your environmental health division within local health department.

Chemical Analysis

These results are reported in the units of milligrams per liter(mg/l)

Test Excellent Satisfactory Objectionable
Chloride (mg/l) ND - 20 20 - 250 Over 250 mg/l
Fluoride (mg/l) 0.8 - 1.7 1.7 - 2.4 Over 2.4
Under 0.7
Nitrate as Nitrogen (mg/l) Not detected 1 -10 Over 10
Nitrite as Nitrogen (mg/l) Not detected ND - 1.0 Over 1 mg/l
Sulfate (mg/l) ND - 50 50 - 250 Over 250 mg/l
Test Related Problems
Chloride Taste and corrosion
Flouride Fluoride levels under 0.7 are less effective in fighting tooth decay. Levels above 1.6 may cause discoloration in developing teeth.
Nitrate and Nitrite as Nitrogen Levels greater than 10 mg/l are a health hazard, especially for the unborn and infants less than one year of age.
Sulfate Higher levels may have a laxative effect, especially for new supply users.