1. Drinking water that is to be analyzed for lead and copper should be collected using the “firstdraw” technique described in #2 below.
2. Water should be used the day prior to collection, but then allowed to sit in the plumbing lines for six to eighteen hours. Collection is performed on the FIRST water drawn from the cold water tap after the six to eighteen hour period has passed. For most people, collection is most easily accomplished first thing in the morning prior to ANY use of water. This includes the flushing of toilets, etc.
3. Size of sample – one liter or a quart container
4. When homeowners are given a bottle to perform this collection, it should NOT contain preservative (i.e. nitric acid). The preservative can be added at the lab anytime within fourteen (14) days of sample collection. The holding time for unpreserved samples is fourteen (14) days; the holding time for preserved samples is six (6) months. Samples do not need to be refrigerated.