Public Water System Chemical Sampling and Monitoring Frequency
Each public water system in Texas must regularly conduct sampling for chemical contaminants.
Why didn't we get this year's cost estimate letter?
The letters we used to send out in January of each year showed cost estimates that were correct when the letters were prepared, but the estimate for a water system didn't always stay correct as conditions changed during the year.
And you might need to calculate the correct sampling costs for your public water system at any time during the year. So we have put the information you need to calculate sampling costs online.
Sampling costs can change
Many factors used in these estimates can change:
- New rules can change the sampling requirements for water systems in general.
- Whenever a water system activates new facilities, sampling schedules will be added for that facility.
- When a facility is inactivated, the sampling schedules for that facility are ended.
- Exceedances, the detection of new contaminants, or other changes in your system's water quality can affect your sampling schedules.
Drinking Water Watch lets you estimate your costs at any time
In Texas Drinking Water Watch (DWW), we give you the data you need to calculate the chemical sampling costs for your public water system at any point in the year. Your calculations will be accurate and up to date whenever you need them — not a snapshot based on conditions in January.
If you need help using the information in DWW, please contact our Public Drinking Water Section at 512-239-4691.
What determines the monitoring schedules for our PWS?
The monitoring frequency is determined by your public water system’s monitoring requirements. These requirements are based on a combination of these factors:
- Public water system type
- community (C)
- nontransient noncommunity (NTNC)
- transient noncommunity (TNC)
- Population of the water system from the most recent comprehensive compliance investigation (CCI or survey)
- Monitoring class (surface, ground, or purchased water)
- Source water assessments for regulated chemicals
- The level of chemicals in your water, based on previous sampling
If one or more of these factors change, then the sampling required, the required monitoring frequency, or both may also change.
PWS ID Number
This is the ID number of your public water system in TCEQ records. You can use this number to look up information about your PWS in our Drinking Water Watch (DWW).
How are these samples analyzed?
Samples are analyzed by laboratories at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) in Austin, TX. Asbestos samples are analyzed by Crisp Analytical Laboratory in Carrollton, TX. PWSs are responsible for all laboratory analysis fees. Questions about billing and sample results should be directed to the laboratories.
Monitoring for Lead and Copper in Distribution
For the Pb/Cu (lead/copper) samples, the TCEQ, through a contract with LCRA Environmental Laboratory Services, will be providing you sample bottles with laboratory forms. When you receive the sample bottles, your own customers will then collect the samples according to instructions provided. If you have further questions, please contact LCRA at 1-877-362-5272.
Monitoring for Coliform in Distribution
Coliform sampling procedures have not changed:
- Staff or contractors of the public water system will do this sampling.
- PWS customers will not do this sampling.
- Antea Group (formerly Delta Environmental Consultants, Inc.), will not do this sampling under its TCEQ contract.
You are required to collect these samples and have them analyzed at a certified lab. We have estimated the cost of analysis to be approximately $25, but your lab may charge more or less than that. If you have further questions, read Coliform Sampling for Public Water Systems (RG-421) or contact us.
In Texas, sampling requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and its amendments are regulated through the TCEQ’s rules found in Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Chapter 290, Subchapter F. Other operating rules for public water systems in Texas are found in 30 TAC 290 Subchapter D. You may find copies of these rules online at these locations:
- the official version in html format on the Secretary of State's Web site : Subchapter D; Subchapter F
- an unofficial version (disclaimer) in PDF format (help with PDF): Subchapter D; Subchapter F
You may also order hard copies of these items from our Publications Unit.
You can find these helpful guidance documents on our Web site:
- How to Develop a Monitoring Plan for a Public Water System (RG-384)
- Disinfectant Residual Reporting for Public Water Systems (RG-407)
- Coliform Sampling for Public Water Systems (RG-421)
You may also order a hard copy of these publications if you wish.
About Chemical Sampling at Public Water Systems
We make every effort to schedule the least sampling permissible by law, while ensuring that the public’s health is protected. New rules are increasing the number of samples you must collect. Our Public Drinking Water Section will continue to make every effort to ensure that you are aware of any changes as they occur.
More Questions? Contact Us!
If you have questions that are not answered by the letter or by this Web page, please contact us. We want to help you understand the rules so that it is easier for you to comply with them.