• Sites for lead and copper testing must be locations generally used for drinking water consumption. This would include kitchen and bathroom sinks, breakroom sinks, drinking fountains, etc.
  • DO NOT collect lead and copper samples from mops sinks, outside faucets, etc.
  • If you are a COMMUNITY system, you should be collecting from SINGLE FAMILY HOMES or MULTI-FAMILY HOMES - NOTfrom post offices, public buildings, etc.
  • DO NOT collect lead and copper samples from vacant buildings, empty apartments or trailers, etc.
  • A site that is not normally used for drinking water, but can be (such as a bathroom sink in a business that has a breakroom- chances are good that the bathroom sink is seldom used for drinking, but an employee COULD use it) is considered a viable sample location and should be part of the sample site pool if there are not enough other sources to round out the required number of sites.
  • You must use different sites for each lead/copper sample bottle. If you do not have enough sinks/faucets to collect the number of samples the Lead/Copper Rule requires, you must collect multiple samples from your sites over several days, allowing the fixtures to sit for a minimum of 6 hours between sample collection. NOTE: If you have 5 sinks and need to collect 10 samples, you should be collecting a 2nd sample from each sink (not 5 samples from each sink and then 5 additional samples from one sink).
  • When collecting multiple samples from a site, you MUST collect your 2 nd sample a minimum of 6 hours after the 1 st sample was taken and the site can not be used during that 6 hour time-frame. So if you have only one suitable lead/copper site, you cannot collect your lead/copper samples in less than 30 hours (and that is assuming you can insure that the sink is not used at all during that time).

***WHEN IN DOUBT :Call Amilyn Stillings at the Drinking Water Program (207-287-6472). It is better to ask and get clarification, then to sample incorrectly and end up with a violation due to improper site selection or sample technique.



  • Flush lines with cold water prior to letting them sit for the 6-hour hold time.
  • Allow fixture to remain unused for a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Collect a 1 st draw sample (stick bottle under faucet before turning on the faucet).
  • Use the cold faucet for filling the sample bottle.
  • Try to collect the sample within 6-8 hours after the fixture has been flushed and shut off (when possible, try not to collect/analyze samples that have more than a 10-hour hold time).
  • 1 st draw means 1 st draw for EVERY sample. If you have one sink at your business and you are required to collect 5 samples, you MUST collect them over the course of several days, allowing the water to stand for a minimum of 6 hours between each sample collection. You DO NOT collect the first bottle at 7am, the 2 nd bottle at 7:01am, the 3 rd bottle at 7:02am, etc. If, due to the nature of your business, you cannot feasibly leave the water off at a location for 6 hours straight, please contact the Drinking Water Program to discuss alternative sampling.
  • You have 14 days from sample collection to get the bottles to the lab for analysis. If you collect your 1 st sample on June 1 st, you have until June 15 th to get bottles to the lab.

Other Things to Remember:

  • If you think a sample was collected improperly (not 1 st draw, from an incorrect site, from a faucet that has been off for too long)- ASK QUESTIONS AND DONOT SEND IN FOR ANALYSIS UNTIL YOU ARE SURE IT WAS COLLECTED PROPERLY- Once it is analyzed it COUNTS towards compliance (with very few exceptions).
  • If your faucet mixes hot and cold (does not have separate faucet heads), you may want to turn off the hot water line prior to testing.

***WHEN IN DOUBT :Call your Compliance Officer. It is better to ask and get clarification, then to sample incorrectly and end up with a violation due to improper site selection or sample technique.