Sampling Procedure for Water Testing

, Sampling Procedure for Water Testing


  1. Collect samples in the main flow of the river or stream (for small streams, this is usually mid-channel), just below the water surface.
  2. Approach your sampling location from downstream, disturbing the bottom sediment as little as possible. Always face upstream to collect your samples or take measurements, to avoid any stirred-up mud from the streambed getting in your sample.
  3. Remove the lid from the container just before sampling. Avoid touching the inside of the container or the lid. If you accidentally touch the inside of either, use your back-up container or triple-rinse with stream water.
  4. Rinse your container by tipping it upside down and pushing it about 20 cm below the water surface. Turn it upright so it fills. Tip that water out and repeat.
  5. Repeat again but keep the water sample. Put the lid on while the container is still underwater.
  6. Label the sample so you can identify it by the DATE and TIME taken, NAME OF RIVER, GPS location and if available, RECORD OF FLOW or RIVER LEVEL, from the Regional Council River Monitoring web site page.
  7. Keep the sample cool and protected from light.
  8. As soon as possible tip out the top 1 centimetre of water, unscrew the lid a little (to allow for expansion) and place the container vertically into a freezer for two days (this destroys and live plant material that digests nitrates).
  9. Tighten lids, place sample containers in a jiffy bag, or box and mail or courier to:

Dr Peter Trolove
32 Pacific Drive
Rakaia Huts, RD3

  1. Remember to include your name, contact number and email with the samples so we know who and where to send the test results to.

Download these instructions as a .PDF from HERE