Packaging and transporting water samples to the State Lab


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Water testing update (5/1/2024) - The following metals and water testing services are not eligible for rush testing at this time: Aluminum, Barium, Boron, Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Corrosivity index, Deluxe Colorado package, Drilling baseline package, General Colorado package, Hardness as CaCO3, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Metals scan package, Mining baseline package, Molybdenum, Nickel, Organic chemical rules package, Partial regulated inorganic chemical rule, Potassium, Silica, Silicon, Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Sodium, Strontium, Titanium, Vanadium, Zinc, EPA 504: ethylene dibromide (EDB) and dibromochloropropane (DBCP), EPA 505: Chlordane and toxaphene, EPA 505: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as Aroclors, EPA 525: Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and pesticides screen, EPA 525 individual SVOC compound, EPA 525: SVOC screen (non-quantitative).

Sample packaging

Package all water samples so they are refrigerated (2-6°C) in a cooler with frozen cold packs. 
If you are submitting samples that are testing for only bacteria, metals and/or fluoride, store and transport them at room temperatures. 
The Chemistry program will test samples received outside this requirement and the report will include a disclaimer comment.
All samples must arrive at the State Lab with a chain of custody/requisition form and valid form of payment.
If samples are shipped using a commercial carrier like FedEx, UPS, or USPS, follow the carrier-specific shipping liquids instructions. You can find this information on the carrier’s website. 
Separate the containers from each other, and the walls of the box, to prevent damage. You can use bubble packaging or corrugated box dividers. 
Include an absorbent, like paper towels or cotton balls, to soak up any liquids that may spill. Add packing paper or bubble packaging to fill any empty space to cushion containers during transit.
Seal and label your shipment. Place the label on the top of the package to increase the chances it will be shipped in the preferred orientation.


Transporting samples 

Water testing samples can be shipped, dropped off at the State Lab, or given to a participating local public health agency for the State Lab courier to pick up. The State Lab courier service does not pick up water samples from residential addresses. 

The State lab is closed on state holidays. Drop off samples in person at the lab no later than 3 p.m. on the business day before the holiday, or wait until the following business day to submit the sample. Do not ship water samples the business day before the holiday - the Lab will not be open to receive it.

Dropping off samples at the State Lab

You can drop off samples on the south side of the building Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Fridays, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. The lab is not open on the weekends or on state holidays. The receiving door is on the south side of the building near the loading dock (indicated by a yellow star on the map below). 

The lab is closed on state holidays.

For more information or assistance, call 303-692-3092 or email cdphe_labcoordinators@state.co.us.

CDPHE Public Health State Lab
8100 Lowry Blvd.
Denver, CO 80230-6928

The receiving door is on the south side of the building which is indicated by a yellow star. There are black arrows that direct you from East Fairmount Drive, through the parking lot, and to the receiving door.


Shipping samples

We also accept water samples via FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). We recommend overnight shipping samples immediately after collection. Your samples may be time sensitive and need to be at the lab within 24 hours after collection. If you ship a cooler you would like returned, include a prepaid self-addressed shipping label. Be sure to clearly label the outside of your cooler with your name/facility name, address, and phone number. 

Follow sample packing instructions to prevent collection bottles from leaking or breaking during transit.

Dropping off samples at a local public health agency

Water samples can also be dropped off at a participating local public health agency where the State Lab courier service can pick up the water sample to transport back to the State Lab. Contact the local public health agency prior to dropping off the sample to make arrangements. 

Boulder County Public Health
3450 Broadway Street, Boulder, CO 90304

Delta County Health and Human Services
255 West 6th Street, Delta, CO 81416

El Paso County Public Health
1675 West Garden of the Gods Rd, Suite 2044
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment
201 North 6th Street, Canon City, CO 81212

Larimer County Department of Public Health Department - Fort Collins Office
1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Las Animas County Health Department
412 Benedicta Avenue, Trinidad, CO 81082

Mesa County Public Health
510 29 ½ Road, Grand Junction, CO 81504

Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment
101 West 9th Street, Pueblo, CO 81003

Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment
1555 North 17th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80631


Payment for water testing

Payment for water testing is due at the time of sample submission. Make checks payable to CDPHE. Include the check with your water sample shipment.

For testing packages, all bottles in the kit must be filled and returned. If any bottles are missing, you may pay a la carte prices or for the entire discounted package price and forgo the uncollected samples.  

While you wait for your test to process, review turnaround times and how you will receive results.