National Testing Labs

Commonly Asked Questions About Bottled Water Analysis

What analysis do I need to perform?
To sell bottled water in the U.S., analysis is required on each raw source and each type of finished product. The scope of parameters required is determined by the states in which the finished product will be sold.

What is the cost of testing?
The cost of the analysis depends upon the scope of parameters to be performed ranging from approximately $1,160 to $2,550 (plus shipping charges) per sample. If you wish to sell different types of products (i.e. mineral water and sparkling mineral water) analysis would need to be performed on each product. If you produce products on multiple production lines, testing of each line may be required. In addition, if there are several sources being used to produce the products, analysis must be performed on each source.

How often must I perform analysis on my sources and finished products?
Testing of sources and finished products for most of the chemical and physical contaminants is required annually*. This is often referred to as the "annual test." Testing is also required for total coliform and standard plate count; however, states vary on how often to take these microbiological standards. Generally, weekly testing is to be performed on all sources and products by a certified lab.

*Quarterly testing of certain SOC's is required on finished product water in the first year of testing.

How much water needs to be shipped?
We require that finished product is submitted to our laboratories in the sealed finished product bottles. The amount of water required varies on the scope of analysis to be performed ranging from approximately 12 to 25 liters.

We will ship, to the location of your choice, all necessary sampling containers, preservatives, and instructions for collection of raw source water.

How do I ship sample to the laboratories?
All finished product bottles should be pulled from the same production code and container size and shipped to our laboratories via any major shipping carrier. Since the product is sealed, there is no need to overnight the sample; however, we do recommend using an express or priority service for international samples.

The raw source water samples must be returned to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection for all results to be valid. You can accomplish this by any the following methods:

  1. Overnight shipping through a major carrier (where available).

  2. For international samples, send a company representative to fly the samples to Detroit and deliver them to our laboratory.

When it is not possible for our laboratory to receive the source water samples within 24 hours, we recommend that you have a local laboratory perform a backup analysis for some of the analytes that have short holding times. Then use one of the above methods of shipment for our laboratory to receive the samples within 48 hours of collection (or as quickly as possible). Depending on the states in which you wish to obtain licenses, delays may not be acceptable.

When will I receive my results?
The turnaround time for annual testing is approximately four weeks from receipt of the samples in our laboratory until all reports are completed. High sample volume, damage to water samples in shipment, and other factors could cause delays beyond the four week extimate.

How is payment made?
We require payment of analysis and shipping costs when the samples arrive at our laboratory. This payment can be made via credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express), check made payable in U.S. funds, or wire transfer to our bank. For sampling containers being shipped out of the country we require a credit card be provided to be kept on file or pre-payment of shipping charges via check or wire transfer. Results will not be released until payment in full has been received.