View this Youtube video created by University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to see how to properly take a water sample at home.
Here are the steps for choosing the right location for collecting a water sample.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin
Do you have a water treatment system?
Water softener (this will influence the hardness test)
Reverse Osmosis System (this will influence the nitrate test)
Sediment filter (this typically isn't a concern)
No - skip to Selecting a Faucet
Can you bypass your water treatment and collect a "raw" sample?
Yes - skip to Selecting a Faucet
No - this is fine. Continue to collect a sample, but some analysis will reflect the "treated" water conditions. Note this on your lab paperwork.
Selecting a Faucet
In order to reduce your chances for a false bacteria result, the following should be considered.
1st Choice in Order of Importance
Non-swivel metal faucet
Non-swivel plastic faucet
Plastic swivel faucet
Swivel metal faucet
*Collection from a garden hose is not recommended.
When Collecting a Sample
Sanitize the faucet head as outlined in the lab form. An alternative to heat consider vinegar, alcohol, bleach or similar bacteria killing products.
Establish a stead-water flow, do not adjust this flow rate and do not move the faucet head (if swivel) until after the sample is collected
Try not to contaminate the sample bottle-rim or cap. Have the sample bottle ready, after running the water for 5-minutes remove the cap-hold it in one hand, fill the bottle, and replace the cap tightly.