Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services


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Water analysis

It is important to obtain a representative water sample and avoid any contamination of the sample.

  • Plastic bottles are preferred. Glass bottles may excrete boron and are more susceptible to breakage during shipping.
  • Always use a clean bottle. Rinse at least twice with the water to be sampled.
  • Properly label sample, preferably with premanent ink. Make sure the container is tightly closed and does not leak.

Why sample water

Water analysis can be used to determine suitability for several purposes.

  • Low cost domestic water analysis is offered to homeowners to evaluate their general water quality and to help determine treatment needs.
  • For irrigation, water analysis can provide information on suitability of the water for irrigation.
  • For livestock and poultry, analyses are provided to determine suitability for animal use.

This lab does not offer bacteriological, heavy metal or pesticide tests.

Submitting samples

After collecting a water sample submit directly to the Columbia lab.

Each sample submitted to our lab should be accompanied by an sample information form. When submitting a sample to the lab the sample information form should be filled out accurately.

Include a check for the amount due payable to MU Soil Testing, unless you have an account with us. If you have an account with us fill in the firm and outlet number and we will bill you at the end of the month.

We can test your water for irrigation, domestic, poultry or livestock suitability or run specific individual tests.

Water sample information forms can be picked up at the MU Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory free of charge or printed from the Web.
Water analysis - individual tests sample information form (RTF)
Water analysis - special test packages sample information form (RTF)

Cost of available water tests

Water analysis packages

  • Domestic suitability
    Interpreting results and recommendations
    Hardness, pH, nitrate-N, sulfate, chloride, sodium, carbonate, bicarbonate, iron, manganese, copper, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids
    $35
  • Irrigation suitability
    Interpreting results and recommendations
    pH, nitrate-N, sulfate, chloride, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, electrical conductivity, carbonate, bicarbonate, total dissolved solids and SAR
    $35
  • Livestock suitability
    Interpreting results and recommendations
    pH, nitrate-N, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, copper, iron, and manganese, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids
    $40
  • Poultry suitability
    Interpreting results and recommendations
    Hardness, pH, nitrate-N, sulfate, phosphate, chloride, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, carbonate, bicarbonate, iron, manganese, copper, electrical conductivity, and total dissolved solids
    $45
Water analysis

Individual water analysis tests

  • pH
    $2
  • Nitrate-N and/or nitrite-N
    $5
  • Ammonium-N
    $4
    Requested with nitrate and/or nitrite $3
  • Chlorides
    $6.50
  • Sulfur-sulfate
    $6
  • Phosphates (ortho)
    $5
  • Boron
    $8
  • Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium
    $5
  • Micro-nutrients
    Zinc, iron, manganese and copper
    $8
  • Carbonates and bicarbonates
    $8
  • Electrical conductivity
    $5
  • Total dissolved solids
    $8
  • Hardness
    $10

In the labTurnaround time

  • Soil sample analysis
    1.5 working days after samples are received in the lab
  • Plant, compost, greenhouse media and water analysis
    4 to 5 working days after samples are received in the lab

If samples are mailed allow time to and from the lab. Results of samples submitted through county extension offices are mailed first to the county agronomist or horticulturalist for comments or individualized recommendations. The county then mails the recommendations to the person submitting the sample.

Soil test reports can be emailed on request at no charge or faxed for a nominal fee.

Updated 9/14/11