Drinking Water Sampling: Noncommunity Public Water Supply - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Drinking Water Sampling (Transient)
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.

Occasionally, a facility will be required to collect its own bacteria or nitrates samples. In these cases, MDH will supply the facility with the necessary sample bottles and precise guidelines for taking the samples to ensure that they provide an accurate picture of drinking water quality.

Contaminants Tested in Drinking Water

Facilities, such as restaurants, resorts, campgrounds, and churches are tested for the following contaminants:
  • Bacteria (total coliform)
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites

Sample Collection Procedures (each form has the specific instructions on how to collect water samples for different contaminate types.)

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for each contaminant. For information about the MCLs for these contaminants, follow the links below: For National Primary Drinking Water Regulations:

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.

Bottled Water

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.

Staff Contact Information

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Updated Monday, March 06, 2017 at 03:39PM