Lead and Copper Sample Collection Instructions

Follow these steps to collect a lead and/or copper sample for the most accurate results.

  1. There must be a minimum of 6 hours during which there is no water used before sample collection. Early morning is the best sampling time to ensure that the necessary stagnant water conditions exist. Do not intentionally flush the water line before the start of the 6-hour period.
  1. After your water has been sitting in your pipes for a minimum of 6 hours, use a kitchen or bathroom cold-water faucet for sampling. Do not remove the aerator prior to sampling. Do not turn on your water until the open bottle is directly below the tap and ready to collect the water. Open the cold water tap as you would do to fill a glass of water. Fill the sample bottle and turn off the water.
  1. Tightly cap the sample bottle and place in the one-gallon zip-top bag provided.
  1. Results will be provided in a report generated within 10-14 business days. If the sample result exceeds the safety standard, a staff member will inform you ahead of time by calling the number listed on your Water Test Request Form.

If you have any questions regarding these instructions, please contact our laboratory at

(920) 424-3148 or eric@uwosh.edu. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Additional Resources

Grevatt, P. C. (2016, February 29). Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Suggested Directions for Homeowner Tap Sample Collection Procedures.” Memorandum: Clarification of Recommended Tap Sampling Procedures for Purposes of the Lead and Copper Rule. WSG 197. Retrieved from: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/epa_lcr_sampling_memorandum_dated_ february_29_2016_508.pdf