Well Testing Packages

A variety of affordable well water testing packages specifically prepared for Arizona homeowners.


Samples that are collected for shipment or delivery to our laboratory are very valuable. We want to ensure the proper handling of those samples as set forth by the various state and federal agencies that oversee environmental testing. Legend Technical Services of Arizona (Legend) provides the sample bottles at no charge to assure that the proper bottles are used for the required analyses. If you have any questions, please contact a Client Service Representative at 602-324-6100.

Looking for a printable checklist? Download our Well Water Sampling Instructions for Homeowners document.

Before Sampling

Please check the contents of your cooler to ensure that bottles have been provided for all requested analyses. The analysis requested is written on each corresponding container. Some analyses may require more than one container while others may share a container.

In order to keep samples at the required temperature of 4° Celsius, and meet all method holding times, plan to collect samples immediately prior to shipping them or delivering to Legend. Once the bottles are filled, all samples should be stored with wet ice in a cooler. (Metals analysis preserved in Nitric Acid is the only exception. They do not need to be kept cold.)

Sampling Steps

The Chain of Custody must be filled out completely to ensure proper test results.

  • Please fill in the client name, address and contact information of where you want the final report to be sent to. Results will not be released to anyone not listed on the Chain of Custody. Additional contact information can be listed in the Comments/Special Instructions area at the bottom of the Chain of Custody.
  • Create a sample identification that will help you identify your sample on the final report, such as sample location or address.
  • The date and time the sample was taken is required to be documented on the Chain of Custody in the date and time columns.
  • The analyses requested should already be filled in and match the bottles received.

On each container, indicate sampling date, time, sample identification and client name with a permanent marker. Sample information on the containers must match the written documentation on the Chain of Custody.

For analysis of Total Coliform/bacteria see instructions below. Sterile procedures are required for this analysis.

If your sampling point has a faucet with an aerator, filter or any other attachments, they must be removed prior to sampling. Sampling from water fountains is not recommended.

Samples should be collected from a cold water line and flushed for at least two minutes before sampling. Slow the stream before sampling to avoid splashing.

To avoid contamination of the sample, do not touch the inside of the container lid or the lip of the bottle. Do not allow the container lip to make contact with the sampling point.

Do not rinse the sample containers. The powders and liquids in the container are chemical preservatives that are required for the tests being performed. Keep containers and preservatives out of the reach of children. Avoid skin contact. We recommend you wear safety glasses and gloves. If you come into contact with any preservative, immediately flush the area thoroughly with water. Avoid getting preservative on clothing and other sensitive surfaces. A complete copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet for each preservative is available from Legend.

Specific Sampling Instructions for Drinking Water

Total Coliform/bacteria: Legend provides a special sterile sample bottle containing a white powder (chlorine neutralizing agent). DO NOT empty or rinse these containers before filling them with sample. The bottle must be filled from a running source. When collecting samples from a tap, remove the aerator, then clean the tap thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol or flame the faucet with a lighter. Turn on the water and flush for 2 or more minutes. To keep the chance of outside contamination to a minimum, open the bottle immediately before filling. Sterile bottles should be opened carefully. Avoid touching the lip of the bottle or inside the cap and do not set the lid down. Adjust the flow to a small steady stream and fill to just above the 100mL fill line on the bottle. The water level must be over the 100mL line, but just slightly. If the bottle is under or over filled, we must reject the sample in accordance with the State rules.State rules mandate that samples for Total Coliform be no more than 30 hours old. This is measured from the time the sample is taken until it is analyzed in the laboratory. In order to have the necessary time in the lab, we must reject any samples more than 24 hours old. Please allow sufficient time to get the sample to the lab. Due to the time required to analyze a Total Coliform sample, samples cannot be accepted after 4:00 PM on Fridays

All other containers between 250mL-1L: Fill all other containers to the neck of the container. Be cautious not to overflow, rinse out or spill the preservatives contained in the bottles.

Shipping Instructions

Pack samples in enough ice to keep them between 2° and 6° Celsius until they arrive at Legend. Bagged ice cubes are always recommended over blue ice packs. Do NOT use dry ice. (Metals analysis preserved in Nitric Acid does not need to be kept cold.)

Samples should be returned immediately after collection. Typical private well packages need to be returned within 24 hours of collection.

If you send your samples via courier (UPS, Fed Ex, US Mail, etc.), be extremely careful when packaging the samples. Provide enough packaging material to sufficiently cushion samples so that they are unable to shift while in transit.

Before shipping your samples, be sure to complete the “Relinquished By” box at the bottom of the Chain of Custody and that the Chain of Custody is packed so that it doesn’t get wet from the ice while in transit.


Legend Technical Services of Arizona provides this testing to the general public at a fee that we try to keep to a minimum. The service includes only the bottles, testing, the report and faxing or emailing the report if desired. Legend has a minimum invoice policy of $75.00. Payment for services is due at the time of sample delivery. Telephone consultation and interpretation of results is not included. Consultation is at the rate of $75.00 per hour. The original report will be mailed to the client identified on the Chain of Custody document. Most reports are completed within 7-10 business days from receipt of the samples. Details regarding the payment policy and turn-around time policy are attached.

Total Coliform Analysis

Verbal results are available after 30 hours from sample receipt at Legend Technical Services. If your sample result is positive for Total Coliform/E-Coli, you will be notified when the sample results are read per method requirements (24-30 hours). Due to licensure requirements for data entry, final (signed), results will be available after 3 to 5 business days. Final results at 30 hours may be requested in advance with a surcharge of 100% (double the regular price).

All other analyses

Results will be available between 7 and 10 business days for most in-house analyses. A faster turn around time (RUSH TAT) may be available when requested in advance. RUSH TAT is dependent on current workload, staffing and instrumentation function. If a RUSH is approved, surcharges will apply. If a RUSH is approved, but the turn around is not met, the appropriate surcharge (or none) will be applied. If a faster turn around time is achieved, but not requested, extra surcharges will not apply. Only verbal or preliminary results can be guaranteed on RUSHES. All final (signed) results will available between 7 and 10 business days due to licensure requirements and quality control for data entry. Verbal or preliminary results will be available at the end of day on the due date.

Samples sub-contracted to in network laboratories have a standard turn-around time of 10-15 business days.

Please note that for drinking water metals analysis, anything less than a 3 day turnaround time is only applicable for non-turbid samples. If a drinking water sample has a turbidity of >1 NTU, please expect at least one additional day to be added to the turnaround time for the digestion process.



All turn around times are based on business days and do NOT include weekends or holidays. Samples must be received before noon in order for that day to be considered a full business day.

This policy does not apply to air quality samples.

Terms and Definitions

Below are definitions of some of the terms referred to on the analytical report. These terms will assist in interpreting the results.

  • The Analyte column is the name of the test performed on the sample. The tests are grouped according to the department or laboratory in which they are performed.
  • The Result column is the actual result. The symbol < is used to designate when a result is “less than” a particular number. If the analyte of interest is not detected in the sample, the result will be expressed as < the RL. Essentially this indicates that the analyte was not present in the sample at measurable levels. Analytical results are rarely expressed as an “zero”.
  • PQL stands for Practical Quantitation Limit or RL stands for Reporting Limit and is the least amount that the analyte can be accurately detected by the required methodology and our instrumentation. Any result detected below this value is not considered accurate. The PQL or RL is NOT the safe limit to which you compare your result to.
  • The Units column is the unit in which the sample was reported. mg/L stands for milligrams per Liter. mg/L is equal to parts per million or ppm and is the standard unit in which analytical results are expressed.
  • A Dilution of the sample must be performed when a sample is analyzed and yields a result higher than what can be detected by the required methodology and our instrumentation. The dilution is automatically applied to the result and is also applied to the Reporting Limit.
  • The next four columns are the Batch (identifies what group or batch of samples that each sample is analyzed in), Prepared Date, Analyzed Date and the Method that was used to analyze each sample.
  • Any items in the Notes column are defined on the last page of the report.

If you should have any other questions about your report, please contact Legend at (602) 324-6100 Monday – Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM. For information or consulting on drinking water problems and ways to resolve them, please call the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or 1-888-395-1033 for private well owners. You can also find information at the EPA website: www.epa.gov/safewater.

If you have to call Legend regarding your results, please have the laboratory number available. You will find this number in the bold, black bar on the analytical results page. It is a seven digit number in parenthesis after your sample identification. The first digit is the year the sample was submitted (i.e. 4 for 2014) and the second two digits is the month your sample was submitted (i.e. 01 for January).

Drinking Water Guidelines

The EPA establishes drinking water standards, which apply to all public water systems across the country. Private wells are not regulated by any government agency and it is responsibility of the owner to monitor the water on a routine basis.

Below is a list of some COMMON parameters monitored by private well owners on a routine basis (every 6-12 months) in Arizona and the associated Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL). This is the maximum level of a particular contaminant allowed by the EPA or could be considered the “safe limit”. If your result is less than (<) this limit, the sample is within the acceptable limits allowed for drinking water.

There are two types of standards: primary and secondary. Primary Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are health-based and are enforceable for public water systems. Secondary MCLs are based on the aesthetic quality of water and are non-enforceable guidelines. The following chart includes some of the more common parameters tested for by private home owners for you to compare your results to.

Primary MCLs (Health-based)

  • Arsenic – 0.01 mg/L
  • Copper – 1.3 mg/L
  • Lead – 0.015 mg/L
  • Nitrate – 10 mg/L
  • Nitrite – 1 mg/L
  • Total Coliform/E. coli – “Absent” or <1 MPN/100 mL

Secondary MCLs (Aesthetic-based)

  • pH – 6.5 to 8.5
  • Iron – 0.3 mg/L
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)* – 500 mg/L
  • Hardness (Ca + Mg) – >200 is considered hard water

*TDS is a common measurement of freshwater. TDS is the combination/total of Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulfate and Chloride. It is analogous to salinity and can indicate if further testing is needed.

For a FULL list of EPA drinking water contaminants, their potential health effects and sources of contaminants visit the EPA website: water.epa.gov

Payment Policy for Submitting Samples

Payment is required at the time your samples are submitted. If samples are submitted without payment, your samples will be refused or your results will not be released until payment is made. Legend accepts cash, check, money order, Visa or MasterCard.

To mail a credit card payment, please print and fill out the Credit Card Payment Form.

If you have a pending credit application, Legend must receive payment with your samples until the application is approved, which may take up to 60 days, depending on how fast the credit references respond to our inquiries.

Thank you for your assistance.

Well Testing Information for Loan Approval

Private wells are not regulated by the EPA or by the state of Arizona:

EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Approximately 15 percent of Americans rely on their own private drinking water supplies, and these supplies are not subject to EPA standards.

If you are being required to test a private well for a loan approval, please check with the agency (USDA, FHA, HUD, VA) that is requiring the testing for the specific tests. Testing for every EPA drinking water standard would cost approximately $3,000-$5,000. There is NOT a single test that provides a “general water quality” result or that determines the safety or “potability” of drinking water. Legend does not provide consultation on drinking water testing. Please call 888-395-1033 for consultation or for more advice on testing or a certified well inspector.

To keep water testing costs to a minimum for its clients, Legend has developed a SUGGESTED package based off of our experience with different agency’s requirements as a GUIDELINE, but due to inconsistencies in those requirements from those agencies, please verify the tests with the agency in order to not waste time or money.

Legend’s SUGGESTED loan approval package consists of Lead, Nitrate, Nitrite, Total Coliform & E. coli, which costs $150. This price only includes the sample containers and testing of the water. It does not include sample collection or testing the function or flow of the well itself. If a third party is required to collect the water sample or if testing the well function or flow is required, please contact a certified home inspector or well company.

To include Arsenic, which is often NOT required by the loan agencies, there is an additional $25 fee. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in the ground in Arizona and it commonly impacts ground water. MOST ground water wells in Arizona contain levels of Arsenic ABOVE the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), which would be considered “unsafe” to drink. An Arsenic MCL exceedance may impact the approval process of the loan. The $25 fee to include Arsenic provides a result for TOTAL Arsenic.

There are two types of Arsenic (Arsenic III and Arsenic V) and the $25 fee just provides a total of both types of Arsenic. When Arsenic levels are above the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), it is then often asked what type of Arsenic (III or V) is present for treatment purposes (Arsenic III is more harmful and more difficult to remove). In order to determine the type of Arsenic, a completely different sampling method and test kit is used. To perform ‘Arsenic Speciation’, the test is $105.

Due to the cost, most people do not proceed with the ‘Arsenic Speciation’ test until it is determined that Arsenic is indeed above safe levels, but this information for the option of Arsenic Speciation is being provided due to the time restricted nature of the home loan approval process.

Each test requires a specific type of sampling container, which Legend provides in the sampling kit with detailed instructions. Please thoroughly read all sampling instructions to avoid false detects and to obtain the most accurate results. Please also verify with the agency requiring the testing as to where the samples should be collected from (well head versus from a faucet inside of the house). Again, there are no consistencies with these requirements from the various agencies and we have seen closing dates delayed and loans not approved due to the samples being collected from what they consider the incorrect sample location.

Once the sample containers are filled, they must be returned to the laboratory within 24-hours. More detailed transporting instructions are included with the sample containers.

Please ensure that ALL tests needed are written on the chain of custody form. Only tests written on the chain of custody form will be analyzed. Be sure to include any contact names, phone numbers, and email addresses of anyone requiring copies of the results on the chain of custody form. Results will only be released to contacts listed on the chain of custody form. Also ensure to include the property address on the chain of custody to be reflected on the final report.

Payment is due at the time samples are submitted. Samples will not be processed until payment is received. Legend does not accept payment through real estate transaction closing costs. Payment arrangements made through the real estate transaction are not the responsibility of Legend. Legend SUGGESTS well testing to be conducted with the home inspection or at least in the same manner as a home inspection. The final report will be issued to the contact listed on the chain of custody when the samples are submitted regardless of who paid for the testing or if the real estate transaction is cancelled due to high results.

Once samples are received, results will be available in approximately 7-10 business days. A faster turn-around time (RUSH) may be available when requested in advance. RUSH approval is dependent on current work load, staffing and instrumentation function. If a RUSH is approved, surcharges will apply. Typically, the loan approval package can be expedited in 3-5 business days with a surcharge. See Legend’s Turn-Around Time Policy for more details and associated surcharges.

Legend does not provide consultation on the treatment of drinking water. Please call 888-395-1033 for consultation on the treatment of drinking water or for more advice on testing.

Have more questions?

Whether you have questions about our services, need assistance, or have regulatory concerns, we can help.
Contact any of our locations.