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Public Health Laboratory


The lab provides two services to the general public:

  • Water testing: We test for bacteria in your water.
  • Tick testing: We can identify the species and test for Lyme disease.

Water Testing

If you own a home with a water well, certain agencies may require you to sample and test your water to determine if it is safe to drink.

If you need to take water samples, please follow these steps:

  • Verify with the agency requiring testing exactly which test you need performed.
  • Contact us. You will need to come by the Lab to get a sample bottle.  The Lab is located at 11475 C Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603.
  • Read our Water Sampling Instructions 2017 before taking a sample.
  • Take your sample.
  • Deliver to the Lab at 11475 C Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603 with a Water Examination Request Form.

If you have questions on disinfecting your well, please see Environmental Health.

Water Testing Hours

8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., Monday through Friday. Staff is available to accept samples during lunch hours.

The Lab is closed on County Holidays and will not accept water samples the day before Thanksgiving, (11/27/13) and the day before Christmas (12/24/13).

Water Fees

Drinking Water Testing

  • Coliform/E.coli (*Qualitative) $26.00
  • Coliform/E.coli (**Quantitative) $36.00
  • Coliform/Fecal coliform $65.00

Surface Water Testing (pond, ditch, etc.)

  • Coliform/E.coli $65.00
  • Coliform/Fecal coliform $65.00
  • Total Aerobic Plate Count $32.00

*Qualitative tests only tell you if a contaminant is present; Yes it's there, No it's not there.
**Quantitative tests tell you how much of a contaminant is present

Tick Testing

If you have been bitten by a tick and wish to have it tested, we can determine the species and test for Lyme disease.

Follow these steps to properly remove a tick, if you have been bitten:

  • Use tweezers to grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight out.
    • Do not squash, burn, smother, or twist ticks.
    • Use gloves, tissue or other barrier if you must use your fingers to remove the tick.
  • Wash your hands and the bite with soap and water after tick removal.
  • Place the tick in a rigid, tightly closed plastic container with a damp paper towel or cotton ball inside.
    • DO NOT place the tick in alcohol, formalin, or other preservatives.
  • Store in a cool place. It is important to keep the tick alive until delivery to the lab.
  • Deliver to the Lab with an Examination Request Form (tick testing can be found under "Parasitology")

    A localized reaction or infection can occur where the tick was attached. If redness or pain develops at the bite site, please consult your Physician.

    For more information on whether or not you should test a tick for disease, please refer to the California Department of Public Health document, Questions and Answers.

    For additional information regarding submitting a tick for testing, please see our Tick Submission flier.

    Tick Testing Hours

    8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday. Staff is available to accept samples during lunch hours.

    The Lab is closed on County Holidays.


    Tick Fees

    Tick Testing

    • Tick Identification $13.00
    • Lyme Disease Test $26.00


    Additional Resources