Water Sample Collection Procedure

Sample bottles for chemistry and bacterial analysis and the required forms are available at Access PEI sites or at the PEI Analytical Laboratories, 23 Innovation Way, Charlottetown.

There are two analysis bottles available:

  • Bacteria analysis uses a sterile clear plastic bottle with a tamper-evident cap. This bottle contains sodium thiosulfate which is a white powder that neutralizes any chlorine which may be present in a sample. Do not rinse the bottle prior to taking the sample.
  • Chemistry analysis uses a white plastic 250 ml bottle with a white cap.

Use the appropriate bottle(s) for the type of analysis which is being requested. Staff of PEI Analytical Laboratories reserve the right to refuse samples collected in bottles not supplied by the lab, samples with an odour of chlorine, samples containing foreign material, or a sample that is frozen.  

What is the sample collection process?

  1. Select an indoor faucet, if possible, to take the sample.  
  2. Remove the strainer from the tap, if present, and let the cold water run at full flow for five minutes (or until the water runs cold); then back off the flow to a steady slow stream. 
  3. Remove the cover and fill the bottle to the neck or the fill line, being careful not to touch it to the faucet.  Also, please ensure that you do not touch the inside of the cap as this will contaminate the sample. Once the sample is collected from the tap, it should be kept cold, but not frozen. Samples for bacteria should be chilled to below 10 C and transported to the lab, or an Access PEI site, in a cooler with ice packs.
  4. Complete the Request Form for Drinking Water Analysis.
  5. Deliver the sample to an Access PEI Centre (outside of Charlottetown) by 3:00 p.m. (12 noon on Fridays) on the same day you take the sample. Check the Access site schedule below to see when samples are picked up at your local Access PEI site.

Depending upon the type of analysis being requested, notification time for obtaining the results will vary. Bacteria sample results are typically available within two days, chemistry sample results around 10 business days.   Clients are encouraged to call the toll-free number (below) to get their results.  A written report will be emailed to clients once all the requested testing has been completed.

Note:  If the occupant is different from the owner of the well, please ensure that the occupant's name and phone number are included on the sample submission form.


Published date: 
February 5, 2024
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

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Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5044
Toll-free: 1-866-368-5044
Fax: 902-368-5830
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