Water Bacteriology

Ocean Water Landscape

Sources and Pricing, Approved Testing Schedule, and Specimen Handling

Sources and Pricing

Potable Water (Colilert 24): $23.00 per test

Recreational Water (Colilert 18): $38.00 per test

Recreational Water (Enterolert): $38.00 per test

Web page designed by Joshua Gomez

Approved Testing Schedule

Samples are accepted Monday through Thursday during normal operating hours.

Specimen Handling

For potable water samples, it is preferred that specimens be submitted within one hour of collection, but can be refrigerated and delivered within 30 hours from initial sampling.

For recreational water samples, transport time cannot exceed six hours. Both recreational and potable water samples should be transported at refrigerated temperatures (2̊-8̊ Celsius).

Potable Water (Colilert 24) Collection and Transport Instructions

Recreational/Raw Water Collection and Transport Instructions

Submittal Materials

Potable Water Bacteriology Test Request (Colilert 24)

Recreational/Raw Water Test Request (Colilert 18 and Enterolert)

Water Bacteriology New Collector Application

**We kindly ask that collectors deliver samples to the laboratory no later than 4:30 PM. Samples will not be accepted on Fridays or the day before a federally recognized holiday**


Potable water results will be made available at the end of the twenty-four hours incubation period while recreational water results will be made available after an eighteen to twenty-four hour incubation period. ... read more

    —Samples assayed using IDEXX's Enterolert incubate for twenty-four hours. Results can be released via email or fax.

**Please specify the preferred method of communication while delivering samples to the laboratory and on at least one requisition**

IDEXX's enzyme substrate assay utilizes hydrolysable substrates for the simultaneous detection of total coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli enzymes. Additionally, IDEXX's Enterolert tests for the presence of enterococci in recreational water. ... read more

    Total coliforms and organisms from the genus enterococcus can be found in soil, water that has been influenced by surface debris, and in human and/or animal waste. E. coli is a subset of total and fecal coliform bacteria that is regularly found in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. The presence of E. coli and/or enterococci in water typically indicates contamination via sewage or animal waste, which is linked to many types of disease-causing entities.

New Customers

First time water collectors should schedule a time to meet with the laboratory assistant to review the methods and standards of appropriate collection. The laboratory will provide providers with the necessary collection materials at no extra cost. ... read more

    Each sample is priced at $23.00 and provides a qualitative representation of bacteria in each sample. Accounts are payable via cash, check, or through any major credit card company. If you would like to setup a recurring testing schedule, please inquire with the laboratory.

We strongly encourage collectors to pre-complete the necessary paperwork for each sample delivered. Before leaving samples at the laboratory, please provide a sample identifier that corresponds to the information provided on each requisition, respectively (i.e., name of collection site and sample number).

Environmental Health Statement of Liability

The submitter is liable to notify Environmental Health Services (EHS) in the event of a result that deviates from the specified California requirements . As stated in section §64212 of the Bacteriological Quality Monitoring, subsection "b", of the California Regulations Related to Drinking Water, water collectors have forty-eight hours to provide EHS with resample results following a "positive" sample.

TNI Accreditation

The NELAC Institute (TNI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose objective is to continue the advancement of environmental health services. By focusing on the importance and intricacies of data management and documented quality through quality control procedures, their vision is to create an open, comprehensive, and transparent process that is both dynamic and responsive to the needs of the community. ... read more

    TNI's inception reflects an all-inclusive national accreditation program whereby all participating entities are maintained and standardized under one uniform and robust program that that demands consistency. They emphasize and highlight technical competence and ethical responsibilities of the entities pursuing accreditation to guarantee work that can be accurately replicated. TNI believes their program will improve the quality and reliability of environmental data used by federal and state agencies.

**The Santa Barbara County Public Health Laboratory will be fully TNI compliant by 2020**

Additional Contacts

For questions regarding the chemical analysis of water samples, please contact the Fruit Growers Laboratory (FGL) at 805-392-2000 (Santa Paula office) or visit their website