Baton Rouge - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Rural Water Association is offering the public free bacteriological testing (for total coliforms and E. colifor their private drinking water wells and systems.

If a homeowner’s water well was flooded, the well must first be disinfected with a chlorine bleach solution, then thoroughly flushed. Finally, a sample of water must be collected for analysis by the laboratory.  Until the sample results are shown to be negative for coliform bacteria, water should not be used for potable purposes unless it has been boiled or chemically disinfected.

LDH is responsible for regularly testing public drinking water systems; however, following Hurricane Rita, the department is temporarily expanding its testing to include homeowners with a private well system to ensure they have access to safe drinking water.

 To obtain this service, homeowners may pick up sampling supplies and instructions on disinfecting, flushing and how to collect the sample from a sanitarian at the parish health unit.

 Once the sample has been collected it must be refrigerated or kept on ice and delivered to the local parish health unit within 20 hours of collection.  The health unit will accept samples between the hours of 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on designated collection days.  This service will begin the week of October 10, 2005. Homeowners should contact their local parish health unit for information about the designated collection days for their parish.

Currently, the health unit is Calcasieu Parish is closed. At this time, these services will be provided at the Office of Southwest regional office located at 707-A East Prien Lake Rd. For more information, please call 337-475-3200.

Drop off points are:

Acadia Parish Health Unit                                         Iberia Parish Health Unit

530 W. Mill St.                                                            121 W. Pershing St.

Crowley, LA                                                                New Iberia, LA

337-788-7507                                                             337-373-0021


Lafayette Parish Health Unit                                  St. Martin Parish Health Unit

220 W. Willow St. Bldg. A                                           303 West Port St.

Lafayette, LA                                                               St. Martinville, LA

337-262-5616                                                             337-394-3097



Vermilion Parish Health Unit                         Jefferson Davis Parish Health Unit

401 South St. Charles Street                                         403 Baker Street

Abbeville, LA                                                               Jennings, LA

337-893-1443                                                             337-824-2193



Allen Parish                                                         Calcasieu Parish

Police Jury Building                                            OPH Southwest Regional Office

602 Court St.                                                               707-A East Prien Lake Rd.

Oberlin, LA                                                                  Lake Charles, LA

337-639-4328                                                               337-475-3200


Beauregard Parish Health Unit

216 Evangeline St.

DeRidder, LA