Water Sampling in Devon
At Oakwater Laboratories, we offer a range of tests, but the majority of clients choose the standard chemical and bacteriological examinations suite. This consists of a specifically chosen set of parameters which allow us to decide if the water is potable. Contact us for water sampling kits.
How it works
Contact us for advice if needed
Submit a sample submission request
You’ll receive a sample bottle & instructions
Take your sample and return it to us
We test it and submit the results to you
Water Quality Analysis Prices
Please see below for a price list of the various tests we offer.
Routine chemical and bacteriological £164 – click here for a list of tests
Routine chemical £122 – click here for a list of tests
Routine bacteriological £65 – click here for a list of tests
Standard metals £63 – click here for a list of tests
TVC 22°C and 37°C £15
Pseudomonas aeruginosa £22
Iron, manganese and pH £40
Minimum charge £40
These tests normally take between one and two weeks to complete.
Discounts may be arranged for large numbers of similar examinations.
We can attend on site if required charged at £45 per hour, including travelling time, plus £0.46/mile travelled.
Please make payments by BACS Transfer (Barclays Bank – Account Name: Oakwater Laboratories, Sort Code: 20-30-47, Account No: 73864758) or when you submit your samples by debit or credit card, cash or cheque (made payable to “Oakwater Laboratories”).
We are now able to accept payment by credit/debit card via the telephone.
PLEASE READ ALL OF THESE NOTES BEFORE TAKING A WATER SAMPLE
Specimens of water for analysis and bacteriological examination must be taken in such a way as to be properly representative of the quality of the water supplied under normal conditions of use, otherwise misleading results may be obtained. Specimens should reach the laboratory within 6 hours of sampling. If this is not practicable, then as little time as possible must be allowed to elapse between sampling and receipt of the specimen at the laboratory. Specimens delayed in transit may undergo changes affecting the interpretation of the results of tests made.
SUPPLIES NOT IN USE AT THE TIME OF SAMPLING
If a supply has been out of use for any length of time, or a property has been unoccupied, the water which has stood in pipes may have undergone substantial changes in composition. In these circumstances it will be necessary to run water to waste until the system and content properly reflect normal conditions of use. Flushing the system may perhaps take an hour or so, but some systems may have to be pumped and flushed for a day or several days, depending upon the nature of the source and the volume of the water contained in the distribution system. In the case of well supplies, care must be taken not to pump the well dry since this will tend to disturb any sediments present and might damage a submerged pump in addition to drawing water from previously untapped contours. If a well has been out of use of a long time, further advice should be sought before sampling.
WHERE TO TAKE THE SPECIMEN
Under normal circumstances a sample of drinking water should be taken from the kitchen tap since this is the outlet from which drinking water will generally be drawn. This will then indicate the cleanliness or otherwise of the whole system. However, sometimes it is appropriate to take the specimen from a suitable point as close to the source as possible, so that the specimen reflects the quality of the water available at source with minimal risk of needless contamination from the various parts of the distribution system. Obviously where contamination from within the system is suspected, it will be necessary to seek further advice, as it may be necessary to take several specimens in order to identify the source of contamination. If a specimen is taken from a tap, proper precautions may be taken. The inside surface of the bib of a tap is usually covered with a slimy accumulation of bacteria which will contaminate the specimen. Before taking a specimen from a tap it is necessary to sterilise the tap in the manner described below. Mixer tap are difficult to sterilise and should not be used for sampling a supply unless this is unavoidable. Plastic taps or taps with plastic inserts cannot be sterilized with a flame.
STERILISING A TAP PRIOR TO SAMPLING
Before taking a specimen from a tap, the outlet of the tap should be heated to a temperature hot enough so that it will ‘sizzle’ when the water is allowed to flow. Taps may conveniently be heated using a small gas blowtorch. Heating the tap in this way will kill bacteria lodged inside the tap bib which unless destroyed would contaminate the sample.
If a blowtorch is not available, or if the tap has a plastic insert, then the tap may be sterilised by slowly pouring a kettle full of boiling water over the outlet of the tap and then repeating this a second time.
TAKING THE SPECIMEN
One bottle will normally be supplied for each sample to be taken. In order to ensure that sufficient sample is available to complete all of the tests, it is important that the bottle should be completely filled.
The bacteriological tests employed are extremely sensitive and contamination of the specimen is likely unless these instructions are followed. Great care must be taken to prevent anything from coming into contact with the inside of the cap and the neck of the bottle. The following procedure should be adopted:
1. If a bacteriological examination is required sterilise the tap by flaming and then allow the water to run to waste for several minutes before taking the specimen. This will flush out any water which has been standing in the pipes.
2. While the water is running please complete the enclosed submission form giving details of the source as far as possible and record details on the label of the bottle. It is advisable to use a pencil or ball-point pen on the label as this may become wetted during sampling. Water washable inks should not be used.
3. Fill the bottle to within about half an inch of the neck and replace the cap.
4. Return the bottle and submission form for the analysis to the laboratory to arrive within one day of sampling. If you are in doubt about where and how to take a specimen please telephone the laboratory, when a member of staff will be pleased to discuss the matter with you and advise accordingly. It is especially important to seek advice about sampling any supply which has been out of use for a long time. Please let us know if you are delivering sample to us or sending it by courier so that we can try to make sure that there will be someone available to receive it!
DIRECTIONS TO OAKWATER LABORATORIES FROM M5
Leave the Motorway at the Honiton/Cullompton exit (Junction 28) and head towards Cullompton.
At the roundabout by the Weary Traveller pub, continue straight on, first exit, signposted Town Centre.
At the roundabout by Tesco’s, continue straight on, second exit, signposted Town Centre.
At the traffic lights, turn left onto the High Street, signposted Broadclyst.
Continue through the town and at the next roundabout take the second exit, signposted Bradninch.
Continue up over the hill and down the other side into Bradninch.
As you come into Bradninch, take the first turning on the left, Parsonage Street No. 1 is the first house on the right.
If there are no parking spaces in Parsonage Street, further parking is available on Hornbeam Gardens, which is the first turning on the right.
Submitting your sample
Fill in the online form below or give us a call and we’ll send you a bottle which you can fill from your water supply. Full details are provided with the sample kit. If you have any doubts about where to take the sample, especially if a source has not been in use for some time, please telephone us.
Our sample kit will always include a copy of our Water Sample Submission Form for you to fill out. If you prefer, you can fill out the online submission form on the website. Or print out the sample submission form and send with sample in the post. We prefer to ensure that the most appropriate information is obtained at the outset, to avoid the cost of repeat sampling. Please bring the bottle back to our laboratory within 6 hours of sampling, where possible, if you have opted for a bacteriological analysis.
We accept payments by:
BACS Transfer (Barclays Bank – Account Name: Oakwater Laboratories, Sort Code: 20-30-47, Account No: 73864758)
Cheque (Made payable to Oakwater Laboratories)
Cash (At time of submission of sample)
Processing times & results
It normally takes 3 days to process a sample for bacteriological tests and about 2 weeks for chemical testing and to send our report to you. Please note this may take a little longer at very busy times.
You will receive a data sheet with the results of all tests. This is annotated if any values are higher than those prescribed by the Drinking Water Regulations. An accompanying letter will explain the results in greater detail. If you are unclear about any results, we are happy to give further explanation by telephone.
If you have a specific problem with your water supply, we can guide you to the appropriate tests needed to investigate the problem.
Areas we Cover
Oakwater Laboratories are based near Exeter but can offer service throughout the UK.