cytoculture logo




CytoCulture Home


Sampling Information

Sampling and Holding Times

We need about 100 mls of each sample for microbiological analyses. For anaerobes, care should be taken during sampling so that no additional oxygen is introduced into the sample bottles. We recommend that the bottles be filled slowly with no mixing of air, until the sample overflows the bottle. Then cap the sample bottles, ensuring that there is no air space in the sample bottle. The samples should be stored in a cooler (4° C) upon sampling, and delivered to us as soon as possible (preferably within 48-72 hours, and up to 7 days for refrigerated soil/ sediment samples ). Please be sure that the samples do not freeze, and do NOT add any preservative.

For chemistry assays, pH, DO, and redox, we require One 500ml bottle (polypropylene if possible) for each sample. Samples should be stored on ice, and no preservative should be added. pH, DO and redox measurements should be performed as soon as possible after sampling, within 24 hours.

For inorganic chemistry assays, nitrate-N, sulfate, ammonia-N and o-phosphate, we require one 500ml bottle for each sample. Please ship these samples immediately to CytoCulture unpreserved, or call for individual preservative requirements to meet longer hold times (up to 28 days). Sulfate can be held unpreserved up to 28 days.

For subcontracted biological, chemical, and gas monitoring assays, please call for sample requirements and to have sample containers shipped to your site.

Sample Delivery

Soil and water samples are normally delivered by courier or overnight express shipping in glass or plastic sample containers packed in blue ice or wet ice (not on dry ice). Avoid freezing of samples or exposure to excessive heat, and be sure no preservatives (or HCl stabilizers) have been added to the water samples.

Soil testing requires several grams of representative sample, usually provided in 2 oz glass sample jars. Water testing requires up to one liter, in glass or plastic containers sealed with tight screw caps. CytoCulture will hold the samples for up to two weeks after reporting data in the event the client wished to conduct additional tests. Please notify CytoCulture in advance, or fax a completed Chain of Custody form, prior to delivery of samples.

International Samples

The CytoCulture laboratory is permitted under a Compliance Agreement (No. 07-22, 7/19/94) with the US Department of Agriculture (CFR330.300-302) to receive and analyze soil samples from foreign sources or regulated areas within the country. Samples must be shipped directly to CytoCulture with a USDA label indicating the restricted entry of the soil samples for testing purposes. CytoCulture can fax or mail these labels to lab clients wishing to ship foreign samples. A standard operating procedure, approved by the USDA, is used to autoclave all quarantined samples after testing and prior to disposal.

Chain of Custody Form:

Please Contact us for a customize chain of custody form for your laboratory. For a general chain of custody form in MS Word Format, follow this link: Chain of Custody.

If you do not have MS Word or a compatible word processor, MS Word viewer can be downloaded for printing and viewing this document.



For more information about CytoCulture and services,