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Coliform bacteria are found everywhere, so you’ll want to do your best to ensure that any coliforms detected by the test actually came from your tap water and nowhere else. Before you begin, review the manufacturer’s instructions on the test bottle. Then follow these additional steps to help prevent any accidental contamination of the sample.

1. Clean your hands. 

2. Prepare the faucet. 

3. Don’t touch anything to the inside of the sample bottle or lid. 

Most people will choose to take the sample from the kitchen faucet. If yours has an aerator, screen, or any other attachment, it will need to be removed before taking the sample. If this is not possible, choose a different inside tap that does not have any of these, like your bathtub. 


Run the cold water tap for

2 to 3 minutes. 

Remove any debris or bacteria by swabbing the faucet with isopropyl alcohol or a weak bleach solution (10 parts water to 1 part household bleach). 

Again, run the cold water tap for 2 to 3 minutes. 

Carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bottle to collect the sample and interpret the result.

* Information from Viqua's Water Test Book. View Resources Here.

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