Ensure your sample meets all criteria to be accepted for testing:
Acceptance Criteria Checklist for Private Citizen Water Testing
The accuracy of your test results depends on it.
At the Public Health Ontario Laboratories, we test for the indicators of bacterial contamination: coliforms and E. coli. We do not test for other contaminants such as chemicals. This means that even if your result shows there is no bacterial contamination in your drinking water, it still may be unsafe to drink.
To find out how to test for other contaminants, contact your local public health unit.
Flooding, snowmelt and increased rainfall can affect the quality of well owners’ drinking water. Test your drinking water at least weekly during periods of high water levels to ensure your water does not contain the bacterial indicators of contamination.
Until you have an acceptable test result, boil your water before consuming it in any way (including use in food preparation, brushing teeth, etc.) or use bottled water or water from a municipal supply if available.
The Public Health Ontario laboratory is closed on: Friday March 30
The last day to submit a water sample for testing before the holiday is: Wednesday March 28
We return to the regular drop-off schedule on Monday April 2.
If you have concerns about your water quality, contact your local public health unit.
Drinking water quality can change frequently. The best way to protect your drinking water is to test often. If you have a concern about the quality of your drinking water, contact your local public health unit.
Grey Bruce Public Health Unit's video shows you how to take a drinking water sample and submit it to your local PHO laboratory.
Go to video »
1. Pick up a drinking water sample collection kit.
2. Use the sample bottle provided in the kit.
3. Plan to sample your well water when you are sure it can be delivered to the PHO laboratory in time.
4. Remove any aerator, screen, or other attachment from your kitchen faucet.
5. Turn on the cold water.
6. Swab the end of the faucet spout with alcohol or diluted bleach solution.
7. Turn on the cold water again.
8. Remove the lid of the sample bottle.
9. Fill the bottle to the level that is marked
1. Fill out all the gray-shaded areas on the form.
Include the following:
If your form is incomplete, the laboratory will not test your sample, and you will need to submit another sample with another form.
2. Write your name on the nametag that is on the plastic bag.
3. You can choose to get your report in person or by mail. You can access your results by telephone through the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) at 1-877-723-3426.
1. Keep the sample cool (not frozen) until you drop it off.
2. Drop off the sample as soon as possible at a PHO Laboratory or public health unit drop-off location.
81 Resources Road in EtobicokeMonday to Friday — 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Closed Saturday, Sunday, statutory holidays.
661 University Avenue, 17th floor reception deskMonday to Friday — 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Closed Saturday, Sunday, statutory holidays.