Drinking Water Sampling (Nontransient)
Noncommunity Public Water Supply
Collecting Drinking Water Samples
In Minnesota, samples from noncommunity public water supply systems are most often collected either by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or the local health department.
All nontransient public water supply systems are required to collect lead and copper samples. Some systems may be required to collect additional samples if they are treating the water to remove a regulated contaminant and/or have a population over 1000. In these cases, MDH will supply the system with the necessary bottles and precise guidelines for taking the samples.
Contaminants Tested in Drinking WaterFacilities such as schools, offices, factories, and child care are tested for the following contaminants:
- bacteria (total coliform)
- volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)
- soluble organic chemicals (SOCs)
- inorganic chemicals (IOCs)
Sample Collection Procedures (each form has the specific instructions on how to collect water samples for different contaminate types.)
Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water (PDF)
- Lead and Copper:
Lead and Copper in Drinking Water (PDF)
Reducing Lead in Drinking Water (PDF)
Drinking Water Standards for Contaminants: Microbiological, Radiological and Inorganic Contaminants
- VOCs and SOCs:
Drinking Water Standards for Contaminants: Volatile and Synthetic Organic Chemicals
Drinking Water Sample Results
If any of the samples show the presence of a contaminant above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), MDH or the local health department will work with the system in resolving the contamination. Additional samples may be required to confirm the presence of the contaminant. If contamination is confirmed, the system is required to notify its users and corrective actions must be taken. Corrective actions may include repairs, disinfection, treatment, or drilling a new well.
Facilities that provide bottled water as an alternative are still considered a public water supply. The U.S. EPA has determined that uses which expose people to water—such as bathing, showering, brushing teeth, cooking, and dishwashing—are human consumption. Providing bottled water therefore does not exempt a facility from being a public water supply and complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
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