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Water Bacteriology

The VAEL Water Bacteriology lab utilized various microbiological techniques to detect total coliform and E.coli bacteria in water sources including food processing, recreational and wastewater.  VAEL can now test drinking water samples submitted by the general public, please call 802-585-6073 for more information and pricing. 


  • New England Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP)
  • U.S. Food & Drug Administration – CFSAN Milk Quality & Safety Branch

Dairy Processing Water

Samples may be submitted to the lab from the following entities, VAAFM field staff, dairy processors and farmstead dairy operators

Sample Requirements:

  • Sterile 120mL vessel or 300 ml Whirlpak pags containing a minimum of 120ml of sample
  • Sample taken using aseptic protocol
  • Sample submission form to accompany samples
  • Sample kept cold during transit 0 – 4.5⁰C
  • Sample received within 30 hours of collection

Sampling & Submission Guidelines:

Note: Prior notification is highly recommended. CONTACT US

Test requested and state holiday schedule determine laboratory delivery days  STATE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 

  • Sample water into sterile 120 mL Idexx Colilert vessel or 300 mL sterile WhirlPak bag
  • Label sample containers using a permanent marker (Date of Sampling, Sampler, Sample Description)
  • Collect samples that are representative of the water source being tested
  • If applicable, disinfect and flush sample ports 
  • Remove and discard plastic seal
  • Keep sampling container closed until it is filled, do not contaminate inner surface of cap or sampling container, replace cap immediately
  • Using aseptic technique, fill container without rinsing to just above fill line (leave ample air space for mixing)
  • Place samples in leak-proof cooler - containing ice & water slurry
  • Transport samples with appropriate Submission form (below) to the lab as soon as possible
  • Best methods of transport are hand delivery, same-day or overnight courier
  • In order for sample results to be used for official analysis, transit time must not exceed 30 hours and sample temperature must be <10C (preferably 0 - 4.5C) at time of receipt

SUBMISSION FORM (Drilled Wells, Dug Wells, Artesian Wells, Springs, Municipal supplies) - Colilert Presence/Absence technique

SUBMISSION FORM (Process Water - Recirculating) - Tube Fermentation technique


Environmental Water Bacteriology

Samples originate from the Agency of Natural resources many through the Watershed Monitoring Volunteer program.

Note: Prior notification is highly recommended. Test requested and state holiday schedule determine laboratory delivery days  STATE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 

Sample requirements:

  • Sterile 120mL vessel
  • Duplicate when required
  • Sample taken using aseptic protocol
  • Field collection form to accompany sample
  • Proper sample identification
  • Sample kept cool during transit