Water Quality Laboratory

The mission of the laboratory is to protect the publics health from exposure to environmental and anthropogenic contamination through monitoring and analysis of the Cape’s drinking water supplies, ground-water and surface water sources. Public water supplies and public bathing beaches on Cape Cod are routinely monitored for bacteriological, inorganic and chemical parameters to ensure compliance with Sate and Federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

Find more information about the lab and our activities this past year here.


Private well owners need to be concerned about their drinking water. The Residential Well Analysis Packages look at the common contaminants from various sources.

The prices presented in the Comprehensive Laboratory Pricing Schedule provides an in-depth look at our offerings for water and soil samples. Discounts based on volume are available as well as discounts for municipalities. Prices may change over time and are subject to prevailing rates if subcontracted.

Turnaround Times

The BCDHE Laboratory offers a standard turnaround of two weeks, however, rush services are available.
The standard rush times are 24 hours, 48 hours and one week. The surcharges are 100%, 75%, and 25%. Additional special requests will be considered and quoted for the customer’s convenience.

Hours of Operation

The standard hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Pool samples are only accepted for analysis Monday or Tuesday from 8:00 to 3:00. All other samples are accepted Monday through Thursday between 8:00 and 4:00.

Samples are no longer accepted on Fridays.

Sample Containers and Pickup Information

Pre-cleaned and sterilized sample containers are available without charge. Containers are preserved as appropriate.  Samples for bacterial analysis must be taken in sterile bottles. Routine and pool analysis sample containers are also available at the Town Health Departments of Falmouth, Mashpee, Brewster, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, and Truro. Courier service is available to Falmouth and Mashpee residents on Tuesdays through their respective Health Departments.

There is also a courier service available on Wednesdays from the towns of Wellfleet, Eastham, and Brewster. Samples must be delivered by 9:30 AM in order to be picked up by the courier.

Catalog of  sample containers, preservation and holding times


The BCDHE laboratory is certified to test drinking water, bathing beaches, groundwater and wastewater. The BCDHE performs all analyses in conformance with testing methods required by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mass DEP and APHA standard methods.