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It's hard to get trustworthy advice when it comes to your drinking water, so we made Tips for Taps to help answer your questions.
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Which sampling method should I choose?

Most of our tests will come with a recommendation for which Sampling Method to use. You’ll find this in your instructions.

If there are no recommendations, here’s what to consider about your water.

You’re concerned about your pipes and plumbing

Use the first-draw method. This means not running the water for 6+ hours before you collect your sample. A good strategy is getting your sample first thing when you wake up in the morning since the water has not been used during the night. This method gives the water time to interact with your pipes and can thus help reveal plumbing-related problems.

You’re concerned about your water source

Use the first draw method. This means you’ll let your water run for 5 minutes and THEN collect your sample. This sample will better reflect the water quality as it comes directly from the source, whether that is a well, public utility or other.

You’re just not sure

If your instructions do not include a recommendation, do not panic. Both sampling methods are equally suited to use for water sampling. If you’re in doubt; run your water for 30 seconds and collect your sample. This is called the proportional method and is well suited for when you’re in doubt.

Regardless of which sampling method you choose; use a low-flow and do not overflow.