Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Drinking Water Analysis

Note: FREE water tests for Coliform bacteria are available for a limited time for those whose wells may have been impacted by the September, 2013 floods. Call 498-6775 if you have questions.

The Larimer County Health Department offers bacteriological analysis of potable (suitable for drinking) water. The department charges a fee of $24.00 to test for the presence of Total Coliform bacteria. Water is considered unsafe to drink when Coliform bacteria are present.

It is recommended that domestic wells be tested at least yearly to verify safe drinking water. Water samples to be analyzed for bacteriological content must be collected in specially prepared bottles obtained from the Larimer County Health Department. Each bottle is sterilized and contains a powder preservative. The laboratory analysis is performed by the Weld County Health Department in Greeley.

Sample bottles are available to the public at Larimer County Department of Health and Environment at 1525 Blue Spruce in Fort Collins, 205 East 6th in Loveland, and 1601 Brodie in Estes Park from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Loveland and Estes Park offices are closed from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. daily. The Loveland office is closed on the first Wednesday of every month.

Proper sample collection is an important step in obtaining accurate sample results. Usually a bathroom hand sink is a good sampling point. Water samples should not be taken from a swing arm faucet, a contaminated faucet, or a leaky faucet that allows water to flow over the outside of the spout.

**Collect the sample and return the sample to this department on the same day.**


  1. 1. Select a faucet and remove the aerator and screen from the faucet.
  2. 2. Open the faucet and allow the water to run freely to flush the line for 3-4 minutes.
  3. 3. Reduce the flow to permit filling the bottle without splashing and continue to let it flow for an additional 2 minutes. Do not open the bottle until you collect the sample.
  4. 4. Remove the plastic wrap. Uncap the sample bottle by holding the bottle near the base and twisting off the lid with your fingers. Do not touch the inside of the sample bottle. Do not rinse the bottle.
  5. Fill the container to "100 Ml" line.
  6. Replace the cap immediately and twist it back on tight so it will not leak.
  7. Fill out the sample form completely. Fill in PRIVATE when testing a private well as the Name of Supply. Include your phone number in the space provided.
  8. Samples should be stored and transported in a cool and dark container such as an ice-packed cooler.

** Return the sample to the Health Department on the same day that it is collected. **

Samples must be collected and submitted to the Fort Collins Office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays before 4:00 p.m.

The Loveland and Estes Park offices accept samples on Tuesdays only before noon. Holidays may change this schedule.

RESULTS: If the sample is unacceptable you will be contacted. Please include your phone number on the form. Sample results will be mailed to the addressee in about 10 days.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.