Drinking Water Clinics

Drinking water clinics are scheduled in 18-24 counties each year. Click here for a list of upcoming clinics. Click here to see our Interpretation Sheet describing what we test for and why.

How do Drinking Water Clinics work?

1. Kickoff Meeting

A brief presentation addresses common water quality issues in your area and instructions for collecting water samples from your tap. Water sampling kits are distributed with sampling directions and a short survey about your water supply.


2. Sample Collection

You will be notified when to collect your samples at home and where to take them. You must follow the sampling directions carefully to ensure accurate results. Be sure to complete the short survey included with your sample bottles! Samples are transported to the Virginia Tech campus for analysis.


3. Analysis

Samples are analyzed for the following: iron, manganese, nitrate, lead, arsenic, fluoride, sulfate, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, sodium, copper, total coliform bacteria and E. Coli bacteria.  Confidential reports are easy to read and accompanied by a sheet explaining what the numbers mean.


4. Interpretation Meeting

Participants receive their confidential water test results. A presentation explains what the numbers on the test report mean and what possible options participants may consider to deal with water problems.  Experts will be on hand to answer any specific questions you may have about your water and water system.


What does it cost?

Participation in a drinking water clinic includes analysis for 15 chemical and bacteriological constituents. Since analysis occurs at our cost recovery lab, the analysis is $49. Comparable analysis at a private commercial lab would cost $150-200.

What if a clinic is not scheduled any time soon in my county?

Contact your local extension educator/agent to let them know that you are interested in participating in a drinking water clinic. You may access our list of trained Master Well Owner extension educators/agents and volunteers for general questions. If you are interested in having your water tested, click here for a list of certified laboratories. For additional questions, contact our coordinator.

Click here to access our Interpretation Meeting presentation.

If you rely on a well, spring or cistern for your water supply, you are responsible for the safety of your family's water! This means you should take steps toward maintaining and protecting your well and regularly test your water.