Public Health Laboratory

The Public Health Laboratory is dedicated to protecting the health of all Butte County residents. Our goal is to provide accurate, precise and timely results to support County health programs and to help reduce morbidity and mortality. The Laboratory is staffed with experienced, highly trained, and State certified Public Health Microbiologists and support staff. Advanced testing capabilities are utilized to detect agents of infectious disease and other threats to the public’s health.

Lab Fees

View full list of laboratory testing services and fees.

Well Water Testing

Electrical outage and/or high water demand can result in low or negative water pressure and allow environmental contaminants to be drawn into the water system. Also failure of the well casing, pump seals or a host of other mechanical failures can lead to contamination of a well. Owners of individual wells need to be aware of precautionary measures and how to disinfect and have their well water tested by a laboratory after their water system loses pressure. The Public Health Laboratory offers water testing using the Colitag method, which tests for the presence or absence of coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria are indicators of potential contamination of a water supply and may originate from human, animal, or soil sources.

Tick & Insect Identification

If you are unable to identify a particular insect or would like a second opinion, insect identification is offered through our Public Health Laboratory for a fee. Insects are identified on a case by case basis on a fee basis. Because there are over 900,000 different kinds of living insects that are known, the Laboratory may not always be able to identify your insect.

Along with identification of tick specimens, Lyme testing is available on Deer ticks (Ixodes pacificus) also for a fee. Laboratory testing is helpful to identify the species of tick and, if the correct species of tick, to determine if it is infected with organism that causes Lyme disease.