Private Water Testing

Drinking and Recreational Water

Water samples must be submitted using the appropriate collection kit provided by the local health department.

Bacteriological  Analysis    The MSPHL can test for three different types of bacteria  in private water samples. Routine samples are tested for coliform and E.  coli bacteria. Testing for iron bacteria is available by special request.  These methods are found in the latest edition of the American Public Health  Association's Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, and  comply with the U.S. environmental Protection Agency and Missouri Department of  Health and Senior Services standards for drinking water.

Coliform  bacteria occur naturally in soil, on  vegetation, and in surface waters such as lakes or streams. They also can be  found in the intestines of humans and other animals. Majority of the coliform  bacteria are not harmful and are used as an "indicator bacteria" in drinking  water. If present, contamination of the water has occurred, and other disease  causing bacteria may also have gotten into the water supply.

Escherichia  coli (E. coli) is  a member of the coliform group of bacteria and is found only in humans and  warm-blooded animals. E. coli in the drinking water indicates that it  has been recently contaminated with human or animal wastes.

Iron  bacteria occur naturally in the soil and  derive its energy by oxidizing iron, manganese or aluminum. This oxidizing  process creates a reddish-brown slime which over time can build up, clogging  screens, well pumps, faucets, pipes, tanks etc.  Iron bacteria are not  harmful, but it does produce an unpleasant taste and odor.

When  testing for these bacteria, the MSPHL tests for presence/absence only, not a specific  count.

Other  tests for specific waterborne pathogens (bacteria) may be available by special  request.

Samples  must be received at the laboratory and testing initiated within 48 hours of  sample collection (30 hours for public water supplies). The MSPHL statewide  courier system may be used to transport samples to the Jefferson City  laboratory overnight. There is no charge for this service.

If You're Interested in getting your water tested please contact the Mississippi County Health Department by email or phone at (573)683-2191  or (573)649-5502 and ask for Environmental.

Allowance for results typically is 2 weeks.

Safe water is the Health of our lives
Explanation of Total Coliform and E. Coli Bacteria Results in Drinking Water
What To Do If Your Water is Reported Unsatisfactory for Drinking
Directions for Disinfecting a Well

Mississippi County Health Department :: login :: email login

1200 East Marshall, Charleston, MO 63834 | 573.683.2191
202 E. Pine, East Prarie, MO 63845 | 573.649.5502
Charleston Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
East Prairie Hours: Monday & Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
*See specific programs for extended hours