UGA Extension Office

Soil and Water Testing


We can receive your soil, water, and plant samples 24 hr/day!

At our 5110 Piney Grove Road office, we have provided a drop box stationed near the front door so you can leave your samples after regular business hours.  On the potting bench you'll find three labeled bins: Soil, Water, and Identification. On the window above the potting bench, you'll find instructions on how to prepare and leave your sample as well as pricing. We accept cash or check only, please make checks out to Forsyth County Extension/4-H. For more details on proper sample collection and pricing click the red box below.  If you need water testing for Bacteria or a Home Closing Kit, or if you have any questions or concerns, please email so that we can assist you.

Soil Testing

Successful plants live in the right soil. Correct pH and nutrients make all the difference. To maintain normal plant growth, lime and fertilizer must be added to meet the needs of the particular plant. A SOIL TEST is the best way to learn how to help your grass, shrubs, trees, and garden grow well.  

Routine Soil Test.................................$10.00 per sample:
Includes pH, Lime Requirement, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese. Bring TWO cups of dry soil in a zip-lock bag. The lab cannot process samples that are less than this. Dig down 4-6 inches and collect soil from many spots to get a good representative sample. Below is additional information on how to collect your soil.  


Water Testing

Rarely a homeowner on county water will have concerns and have their water tested. But if your home has a well you should have that water tested annually. Only YOU are responsible for the safety of your well water.  All well water samples should be collected after a period of 6-12 hours with NO water usage. Collect the sample in a clean container from the first draw of water out of the kitchen faucet or from the faucet used most often for drinking. Bring us approximately 2 cups of water.  

Water Sampling Instructions

  • Basic Water Test...................................$24.00 per sample:
    pH and Water Hardness, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Aluminum, Chromium, Manganese, Copper, Cadmium, Iron, Zinc, Sodium, Nickel, Magnesium, Boron, Molybdenum, and Silica
  • Bacteria Test........................................$36.00 per sample (client responsible for overnight shipping or delivery to UGA lab):
    The most common microbiology test checks for the presence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria. This test requires a special test kit with sample instructions available at the Extension office. This test is recommended annually on home wells. Disinfecting your well water through shock chlorination.
  • W33B Home Loan Water Testing.......Thus the standard turn-around-time for W33B package is 5-7 business days after receipt, the fee is $85/sample (client is responsible for overnight shipping or delivery to UGA lab).  Information sheet on W33B water testing.    
  • Radon in Water Test....$30.00 per sample (client responsible for overnight shipping or delivery to UGA lab): Radon in Water Information.
  • Expanded Water Test..........................$64.00 per sample:
    Designed to address common well water problems in Georgia such as corrosion, high levels of iron and manganese, and nitrate from various sources. This test package should be done at least once on wells before using a less inclusive test. The Expanded Water Test is required for installation and design of home water treatment systems. This test includes the Basic Water Test (see below), Anions, Soluble Salts, and Alkalinity tests.
  • Lead and Arsenic Test Combined--If you would like to have your water tested for both Lead and Arsenic at the same time, the fee is only $65 for a combined sample.
  • Water Lead Test Only...........................$46.00 per sample:
    Lead testing is recommended for homes and/or wells built prior to 1985. Pipes could contain lead solder which could leach into your drinking water.
  • Water Arsenic Test Only.......................$65.00 per sample:
    Arsenic testing is recommended for wells located on old farm sites where pesticides may have been used for cotton production or fruit orchards between 1920-1940.                                                   
  • Other Water Tests are available upon request.

More information