UGA Extension Office

Soil and Water Testing

Results can be expected at variable times: Soil Test ~2 weeks, Basic Water ~1 week, E. coli/Total Coliform ~3 days, Home Loan Closing ~2 weeks. Each of these estimates depends on shipping time and number of tests received to the lab ahead of yours.

Soil Testing

  • Make sure to drop by the office to pick your soil sample submission form and UGA soil bag
  • Results usually take about 2 weeks
  • $12 per soil test

Water Testing

  • Popular test pricing:
    • Basic Water Test: $26
    • Expanded Water Test: $68
    • Home Loan Closing Water Test: $104
    • Fish Pond General Water Quality: $42
    • Department of Health: Private Well Chemical Test: $134
    • Lead: $47
    • E. coli/total coliform/fecal coliform: $52
  • For additional testing, please call the office
  • Call our office at 912-554-7577 for all other questions regarding testing of water or any other testing questions you may have!

Other Identification Help

Do you have any plants, weeds or insects that you need help identifying?  Do you need advice on control of pests or diseases?

If so, please bring in your samples to the office 325 Old Jesup Rd in Brunswick, GA 31520

Call/text: 912-580-0256


image of soil sample bags
image of water bottles for water testing

How to Collect a Soil Sample


  • Use a zigzag approach when taking samples. Collect 8-10 soil samples from each location (zone) as shown in Figure 1.
  • For trees and shrubs, take soil samples from six to eight spots around the dripline of the plants.


The depth of sampling depends on the type of plants being grown.

  • For lawns, sample to a depth of 4 inches.
  • For gardens, ornamentals, mixed fruit trees, and wildlife plots, sample to a depth of 6 inches.


Soil sampling should be done well in advance of planting or spring green-up. This allows adequate time for sample analysis, data interpretation, and fertilizer and lime application.


Use clean sampling tools and containers to avoid contaminating the soil sample. Never use tools or containers that have been used for fertilizer or lime. Collect samples with tools like trowels, shovels, spades, hand probes or hand augers.

  • Clear the ground surface of grass thatch or mulch (Figure 2).
  • Using a trowel, push the tool to the desired depth into the soil.
  • Push the handle forward, with the spade still in the soil to make a wide opening. Then, as shown in Figure 3, cut a thin slice from the side of the opening that is of uniform thickness, approximately 1/4-inch thick and 2 inches in width, extending from the top of the ground to the depth of the cut.
  • Collect from several locations.
  • Combine and mix them in a plastic bucket to avoid metal contamination.
  • Take about two cups of the mixed soil and place it the UGA soil sample bag (can be done in the office)

Image showing how to determine where to collect soil for soil sampleFigure 1. Area divided according to vegetation and soil characteristics. Yellow dots indicate sampling points.
diagram showing what thatch is and how to expose the soil for soil testingFigure 2. Remove grass thatch or mulch before sampling.
diagram showing how to cut a bit of soil for the soil testFigure 3. Soil sampling with a trowel.
image with text explaining how to sample different water testsInstructions for Water Testing. Click the image to follow a link to our lab's webpage for more information.

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