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5 Best Labs for Missoula Water Testing

Having your home’s water tested can reveal some very interesting things you wouldn’t know simply by looking at municipal numbers. For example, Missoula water testing can reveal problems specific to your home, such as contaminants or old pipes.

Keep reading to learn about your options for home water testing in Missoula.

Note that no licensed Missoula water testing facility advertises inspection for anything other than bacteria. You’ll have to send your sample outside of the city (i.e. to the Montana State Environmental Laboratory) if you want it tested for additional contaminants.

Missoula Public Health Home Water Testing

Missoula Public Health offers home water testing for coliform and E. coli at a rate of $18 per sample with additional fees for collection and bottle mailing.

To have your water tested by Missoula Public Health, you simply need to fill out their request form and ensure your dropoff or pickup aligns with their schedule.

Location: 301 W. Alder, 2nd floor, Missoula, MT

RD Water Lab

RD Water Lab is a certified Missoula water testing facility capable of identifying coliform, E. coli, and other harmful contaminants.

Location: 3700 S. Russell St. Ste 120-#1, Missoula, MT

Montana State Environmental Laboratory

While not in Missoula, the Montana State Environmental Laboratory in Helena, MT is another option worth considering for home water testing. In addition to having your water checked for coliform and E. coli, you can request tests for the following:

  • Nitrate
  • Microbiology
  • Lead
  • Copper

You don’t have to make the nearly two-hour drive from Missoula to Helena, either; the Montana Stae Environmental Laboratory allows submission via any mail carrier and also has its own free courier service. Refer to their website for more information.

Location: 1400 E Broadway St # B219, Helena, MT

Montana Environmental Laboratory

Montana Environmental Lab (a private entity not to be confused with the previous entry on this list) is another option worth considering if you’d like a more extensive test. They conduct testing for bacteria, nitrate, and metals.

Location: 1170 N. Meridian Rd. Kalispell, MT

Energy Laboratories Inc.

Energy Labs tests for the same compounds as the Montana Environmental Laboratory but also checks for inorganics. Additionally, this full-service laboratory also tests soil and waste, making it a great one-stop-shop if you need to test various types of samples.

Benefits of Missoula Water Testing

There are many potential benefits to having your water tested. Let’s take a look.

Protects Your Family

By having your water tested, you may identify the presence of contaminants that can harm your family. This is especially important if you have young children or family members with illnesses that would make them vulnerable.

Helps You Troubleshoot Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with your plumbing, conducting a water quality test can help you narrow down the possible culprits.

If, for example, you find that your water is exceptionally hard, that could be an explanation for the buildup (and subsequent loud noises) in your water heater. Simply installing a water softener may solve the issue.

Pinpoints the Most Appropriate Treatment Solutions

Everybody wants cleaner water for their family. But with so many filters to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one you actually need.

By having your water tested, you can figure out exactly which contaminants you need to take care of, thereby making it easier to choose the right filter.

Common Water Contaminants in Missoula

Next, let’s briefly take a look at a few common water contaminants in Missoula, Montana. Note that these aren’t common in the sense that many homes here have them. Rather, they’re common in that contaminated water usually contains one of them.


Coliform is a class of bacteria that leeches into well water via soil and feces. E. coli is the most common in the latter scenario. Certain strains of the bacteria are also among the most dangerous types of coliform, causing diarrhea and other ailments according to the CDC.


The presence of lead in older buildings throughout Missoula has been well-documented. While certain facilities (such as schools) test their water voluntarily, those not required to do so are often unaware they have this problem.

Lead typically enters drinking water via pipes and other plumbing components containing it. As lead corrodes, it easily makes its way into drinking water.

The presence of lead in your water would indicate a need for swift action in the form of replacing pipes that are to blame.


Arsenic is another metal that often finds its way into drinking water. According to Missoula Public Health, there are three regions in the county with higher than normal levels of arsenic: the Blackfoot Valley, Lolo Creek, and Nine-Mile/Huson.

Arsenic in drinking water can cause long-term health problems such as cancer and high blood pressure.


Chlorine plays a key role in disinfecting drinking water. It should be noted that chlorine levels in Missoula’s drinking water are quite low; the chemical’s concentration as of 2020 averages about 0.41 parts per million (ppm), which is well within the threshold of safety.

Understandably, though, many people would rather not have any chlorine in their water, especially since it affects the taste.


Fluoride is another compound commonly introduced into the drinking water supply. Some people take issue with this for a variety of reasons, especially if the concentration of fluoride exceeds a certain percentage.

Testing is the only way to find out whether the fluoride in your drinking water is cause for concern based on your personal beliefs.

Missoula Water Testing: Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you identify a few laboratories through which you can have your water tested, along with the benefits of doing so.

Plumb-Tech has been Missoula’s plumbing contractor of choice for more than 15 years. If you’re in need of residential or commercial plumbing services, contact us for a quote.

We serve the entire Missoula area, including these cities:

  • Lolo
  • Stevensville
  • Florence
  • Wye
  • Clinton
  • Frenchtown

Our pricing is transparent and competitive within the area.