Submit Samples

To submit samples, please follow the instructions below for sample collection, completing the Analysis/Client Information form, and shipping. Any questions, please contact NAL at (360) 865-3454.

Sample Collection

For sample collection, use plastic HDPP or PP containers with screw-top lids. If HDPP or PP type plastic bottle are not available use the sturdiest plastic container available. For grab samples collect the sample by inverting the bottle (upside down), reaching into the water body to elbow depth and invert the bottle to right side up to fill it. Pour off a small amount of sample to leave a head space in the bottle. Heavy scum samples may be sampled from the top of the water surface.

  • Volume of sample bottle:

The sample bottle should have a minimum volume of 250 ml, however a 500 ml bottle is normally used for sample collection to ensure an adequate representation of the water body. Please contact us for specific sample volume requirements.

  • Preservation:

No preservation is required for samples that are shipped via next day or 2 day delivery (live samples are requested by NAL if possible). Lugol’s iodine may be added to the sample as a preservative if the client prefers (1.75ml Lugol’s per 250ml sample). Samples may be stored at refrigerated temperatures if they are not able to be sent on the day of collection.

Analysis/Client Information Form


Make sure caps are on tight, it’s recommended to tape the lid to the bottle. Using a waterproof pen, label the bottles with a sticky label or by writing directly on the bottle.

Include the following information on the labels:

  • Water body name where sample collection occurred (and locator if available).
  • Collection date and time and other pertinent information as necessary.
  • Please complete an Analysis/Client Information form and place it in a plastic zip bag in the container (ice chest) with the samples. Use ice packs for live samples. Note: Lugol’s preserved samples do not need ice packs for shipping.

Please contact the lab prior to shipping so we know when to expect the samples.

Ship overnight or 2nd day delivery to:

Nostoca Algae Laboratory
7770 Springridge Road N.E.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
98110 USA