WATER TESTING

The District has an in-house laboratory in which we conduct water quality analyses. The District provides two types of testing, bacteria and chemical. The District is not a certified laboratory and the results provided are for informational purposes only. The analysis results are intended to be representative of the water quality on the day of sampling only, and future samples from the same site may yield different results. The cost for the bacteria test is $5.00 and we also test wells outside the District for a fee of $5.00. The chemical test is free of charge for wells located within Gillespie County. Samples are taken Monday through Thursday only. If a holiday falls within the week, the testing schedule could change so please call before bringing your sample in. The District office is closed during lunch hour.

         Bacteria samples must be received in the District office by 2:00 p.m. due to a time frame for positive/negative reading after 24 hours.

         For a chemical test, please call first to schedule a day to bring in your sample.

Bacteria Test

Individuals may have their water tested for the presence of bacteria to determine whether or not the water is safe. Safe water must not contain any organism that would indicate the presence of disease bacteria. This test requires a special sterilized container which is furnished by the District. Using the correct container and sampling techniques are vital to insuring the accuracy of test results.

Several diseases may be transmitted by unsafe water such as typhoid, paratyphoid, dysentery, amoebic dysentery, hepatitis and cholera. All of these intestinal disorders the microorganisms that cause them to live and grow in the intestines of infected people or warm blooded animals that have the disease. When fecal matter from one of these people or animals gets into the water supply, the pathogens can be transmitted to a well person who may then get the disease. Carelessness in the personal sanitary habits may contribute to the spread of the disease.

Bacteria are the most plentiful of all living organisms. Many bacteria are helpful and even necessary for everyday living, while only a few cause diseases. Both disease causing and helpful bacteria live in the intestines of humans and animals. Disease bacteria are difficult to detect because there are so few of them compared to the helpful ones.

Therefore, testing of water samples is done by using indicator organisms. One of these is the coliform group of bacteria. Coliforms live in the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. Although these bacteria usually do not cause disease, they do indicate the presence of fecal matter in the water. Whenever fecal matter is present, disease causing bacteria can also be present. Total coliform originates from insects and warm blooded animals. E. Coli originates only from warm blooded animals. So when E. Coli is detected, they indicate that feces from warm blooded animals may have contaminated the water and the possibility that disease causing organisms may be present.

Bacteria Test - Requires a special sterilized container which is furnished by the District.

Sampling Procedure:

  The water can be collected at the well or at the kitchen faucet.

  Sterilize the inside of the faucet head with a match to kill any bacteria or disinfect the faucet with alcohol (if you have a screen on the faucet, remove it first).

  Let the water run for a few minutes prior to collecting the sample.

  DO NOT rinse the white powder out of the bottle.

  Be careful not to touch the inside of the container with your fingers.

  Fill the container to the fill line.

The sample should be brought to the District office within 6 hours of collection.

Chemical Test: Call the District office at 830-997-4472 first to schedule a day to bring in your sample to be analyzed.

Individuals may have their water tested for other constituents such as Hardness, Sulfate, Chloride, Nitrate, and Iron.

Sampling Procedure:

  The water can be collected from the well or kitchen faucet. If you have softened water, collect the water before it goes through the softener.

  The faucet head does not have to be sterilized for a chemical test.

  Let the water run for a few minutes prior to collecting the sample.

  Collect the water in a clean quart container. The container does not need to be sterilized. The sample should be brought to the District office within 6 hours of collection.

  Please note the container the water sample is brought in will be discarded.