Lead in Drinking Water at Schools & Child Care Facilities Program

How to Collect an Initial (First Draw) Sample

Collect the sample before any water has been used. Water should not be used for 8-18 hours before sampling.

  • Make sure you have clean hands.
  • Complete the sample recording form.
  • Only use containers (250 milliliter) supplied by your certified lab.
  • Containers should not be opened until you are ready to collect the sample.
  • Sampling containers that have been compromised in any way, e.g., by being touched on the threads or the interior surfaces, must not be used.
  • Keep food and drink away from the sample and its container.
  • Anything attached to the end of the faucet, e.g., hoses, should not be removed before taking samples.
  • Make sure no water has been withdrawn from the tap or water fountain before you collect the sample.
  • Place the container under the faucet or drinking water fountain that is being tested and collect 250 milliliters of water.
  • If a faucet is being tested make sure you turn on the cold water tap.
  • Turn on the water and fill the container without allowing any water to run down the drain.
  • Close the container according to the instructions from your certified lab.
  • Make sure the container is labeled with the same information from your sample recording form.
  • Prepare the container for shipping according to the certified lab's instructions. Ship containers according to the certified lab's instructions.
  • Samples must be delivered to the lab within 14 days of collection for proper testing.

How to Collect a Second First Draw Sample

If the result of your initial first draw sample result was higher than 15 ppb, particulate lead that can get trapped in the aerator or screen of the outlet can be contributing to the elevated levels of lead. If your outlet has an aerator or screen remove it or clean it and proceed with the directions below.

Collect the sample before any water has been used. Water should not be used for 8-18 hours before sampling.

  • Make sure you have clean hands.
  • Complete the sample recording form.
  • Only use containers (250 milliliter) supplied by your certified lab.
  • Containers should not be opened until you are ready to collect the sample.
  • Sampling containers that have been compromised in any way, e.g., by being touched on the threads or the interior surfaces, must not be used.
  • Keep food and drink away from the sample and its container.
  • Anything attached to the end of the faucet, e.g., hoses, should be removed before taking samples.
  • Make sure no water has been withdrawn from the tap or water fountain before you collect the sample.
  • Place the container under the faucet or drinking water fountain that is being tested and collect 250 milliliters of water.
  • If a faucet is being tested make sure you turn on the cold water tap.
  • Turn on the water and fill the container without allowing any water to run down the drain.
  • Close the container according to the instructions from your certified lab.
  • Make sure the container is labeled with the same information from your sample recording form.
  • Prepare the container for shipping according to the certified lab's instructions.
  • Ship containers according to the certified lab's instructions.
  • Samples must be delivered to the lab within 14 days of collection for proper testing.

How to Collect a Flush (Follow Up) Sample

Collect the sample first thing in the morning before any water has been used. Water should not be used for 8-18 hours before sampling.

  • Make sure you have clean hands.
  • Complete the sample recording form.
  • Only use containers (250 milliliter) supplied by your certified lab.
  • Containers should not be opened until you are ready to collect the sample.
  • Sampling containers that have been compromised in any way, e.g., by being touched on the threads or the interior surfaces, must not be used.
  • Keep food and drink away from the sample and its container.
  • Anything attached to the end of the faucet, e.g., hoses, should be removed before taking samples.
  • Make sure no water has been withdrawn from the tap or water fountain before you collect the sample.
  • If a faucet is being tested make sure you turn on the cold water tap.
  • Turn on the water for the faucet or drinking water fountain and let it run down the drain for 30 seconds (you may be asked to run the water for a different length of time - make sure you run the water for the time instructed).
  • Place the container under the faucet or drinking water fountain that is being tested and collect 250 milliliters of water.
  • Turn on the water and fill the container without allowing any water to run down the drain.
  • Close the container per instructions from your certified lab.
  • Make sure the container is labeled with the same information from your sample recording form.
  • Prepare the container for shipping per the certified lab's instructions.
  • Ship containers per the certified lab's instructions.
  • Samples must be delivered to the lab within 14 days of collection for proper testing.