The Health Department Laboratory Helps Vermont Test

We protect your health and safety with many types of testing.


The Public Health Laboratory offers a variety of testing to help identify hazards in our environment, diagnose infectious disease, and support many other areas of our communities' health. This includes for Vermonters testing their home’s drinking water or air for radon, and for health care providers or caseworkers testing for lead in blood, drugs in urine, tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis, or rabies.

Faucet that says test your tap.

Drinking Water Testing

If you have a private well or spring, you are responsible for testing the quality of your drinking water. You do not know what is in your water until you test it. The Health Department recommends testing your private well or spring for bacteria, inorganic chemicals and gross alpha radiation. 

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Rabies Testing

If a person is suspected of being exposed to rabies, either through a bite or contact with saliva, testing at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory will be performed on the suspected animal. 

All specimens submitted for rabies diagnostic testing must be pre-approved by the Health Department's Public Health Veterinarian. Test results are usually available within 24-48 hours of receipt. 

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e.coli bacteria

Bacteria in Water

The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory tests different types of environmental water samples for bacteria like E.coli or Legionella. Water samples from ponds, lakes and rivers are tested for Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, to determine whether it is suitable for swimming. 

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Radon in Air Testing

The Public Health Laboratory recommends testing your home for radon in the air.

We offer long, medium and short term test kits. You should test your home’s radon levels in air:

  • If it’s never been tested or radon levels are unknown

  • When preparing to buy or sell a home

  • Before and after any renovations, especially after making any repairs to reduce radon levels

  • Before making any lifestyle changes in the home that would cause someone to spend more time in the basement or lower level (like converting a basement to a bedroom)

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All children should be screened for lead at ages 1 and 2 by their health care providers. Find out about blood lead testing.

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