UGA Extension Office

Testing Services


As of March 1, 2024: Cost - $10 per sample for routine test. Cash or check accepted. Credit cards are accepted at our office only.                                                                                

Soil samples can be dropped of at the UGA Extension Columbia County office, 6420 Pollards Pond Road, Appling, GA, (706) 541-4011. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. We are closed for lunch from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm.

Drop off sites at local garden or nursery centers are available:

  • ACE Hardware - 4532 Washington Road Evans, GA 30809 
  • Grovetown Farm & Garden Center - 5234 Wrightsboro Road Grovetown, GA 30813

How to take a sample for home lawns and gardens for successful results. Soil Sample Form 

Turnaround time for test results is approximately ten working days. The soil analysis can be either e-mailed or mailed. A routine soil test will provide the following results:

  • pH W Potassium (k) Zinc (Zn)
  • Lime requirement (pH b) Calcium (Ca) Manganese (Mn)
  • Phosphorus (P) Magnesium (Mg)
  • Other tests are available at additional costs. Please contact the Columbia County Extension Office, (706) 541-4011, for more information. 

Water Testing

Water drop

UGA Extension can test water for minerals and other problems. For details on our Basic and Expanded Tests, please use one of the links below.

  • W1 Basic Water Test - This test is for ponds only. Cost $23 -  to be paid to UGA Extension. 
  • W2 Expanded Water Test - House hold well - drinking water. Cost $66.00 - to be paid to UGA Extension. 
  • E-Coli Test -  This test should be run along with you W2 and then it should be run yearly after that. The cost of the test is $60.00 + the cost of overnight shipping. A special bottle must be used and is available at the UGA Extension office, and then must be mailed overnight to the UGA lab during a 24 hour window only. Sample to be taken during recommended time 10 am - 12 pm. 
  • Home Loan Closing Test - For this test you must come to the office and pick up the test kit.  The cost for this test is $85.00.  Plus the cost of overnight shipping.  This water for this test must be taken by a third party.  Water must be collected mid-morning and sent overnight to the UGA lab.

Bacteria Water Testing

Please contact the Columbia County Water Laboratory, (706) 868-3460, 4327 Evans to Locks Road, Evans, GA, 30809. Due to delivery time constraints, we are unable to offer this test. The Columbia County Water Lab will be able to conduct this test for you.

Lead Water Testing

Is there lead in Columbia County's drinking water?

glass of water

There is no lead in Columbia County's raw water supplies (i.e. Savannah River and Clarks Hill Lake) or in the treated water leaving the plants.

However, lead in the plumbing and fixtures of older homes may leach into water that stands in the pipes for several hours.

If your house was built before 1988, pipes could contain lead solder which could leach into your drinking water. An initial water test is advised and future testing semi-annually. The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Services Laboratories does Lead Water Testing. The cost for the lead water test is $35.00.

In order to get accurate test results, the water needs to be collected in the Lab's clean and acid washed water bottles. You can obtain this bottle from the UGA Extension Columbia County office located at 6420 Pollards Pond Road, Appling, GA, (706) 541-4011. At that time, you will receive instructions on water sample collection techniques, paperwork for your contact information, and pay the $35.00 water test fee. We can accept cash or check for payment. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are closed for lunch from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm.

Lead-contaminated drinking water is most often a problem in houses that are very old. Up through the early 1900’s, it was common practice to use lead pipes for interior plumbing. Plumbing installed before 1930 is most likely to contain lead. Copper pipes have replaced lead pipes in most residential plumbing. However, the use of lead solder with copper pipes is widespread. Experts regard this lead solder as the major cause of lead contamination of household water in the U.S. homes today.

We recommend that all drinking water samples be collected from the first draw water out of the kitchen faucet or from the faucet used most often for drinking water. Please follow the three basic protocols when collecting a drinking water sample:

  1. A first draw water sample will be collected after a minimum of six (6) hours, but not more than a twelve (12) hour period during which time there was no water usage prior to the sampling. The GA-EPD recommends that either early morning or evenings upon returning home are the best sampling times to ensure that the necessary stagnant water condition exits.
  2. A kitchen or bathroom cold-water faucet is to be used for sampling. If the primary concern is the well pump, draw the water from as near the well head as possible.
  3. Place a clean lab bottle below the faucet and gently open the cold water tap. Completely fill the sample bottle.

Bring the water sample back to the UGA Extension Columbia County office, Monday - Wednesday by 2:00 pm. We do not accept samples on Thursday, Friday or the day before a holiday as there will be no one in the lab to process the samples on the weekend or on the holiday. You will receive your results in approximately ten working days in the mail or through email.

Are you watering your lawn correctly?

Is your lawn getting the correct amount of water each week? The answer is probably not.  Besides having your soil tested to make sure your lawn is healthy, you should make sure that your sprinkler systems is calibrated, making sure that all of your lawn is getting enough water.

The University of Florida Extension has the information you need to Calibrate your sprinkler system.  If you follow these steps, your lawn will be getting all the water it needs.  

Sprinkler System