County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Laboratory Services

The Public Health Laboratory offers bacterial testing for well-water safety and tick identification for Lyme disease upon request. Those who live, work, own property or visit in Marin County are eligible for laboratory testing.  The drop-off site is located at the Public Health Division at 3260 Kerner Boulevard, San Rafael, CA, 94901. This is the location of the Health and Human Services Clinics where staff at the reception desk will be available to take your specimens. The hours for drop off are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 to 4:30 PM. The reception desk is closed from noon to 1:00 PM. If you have any questions about the drop-off location or hours, please call 415-473-4400.

Fees: Please make checks out to: Public Health Laboratory.  We cannot accept cash or credit cards.

Fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Well Water Testing Procedure

  • Pick up a kit at the Public Health Division.
  • The kit contains:
    • A container for your water specimen
    • A form to be submitted with the sample
  •  After collecting the sample return the kit to the Public Health Division 

Water Testing Resources:

Environmental Health Division

Tick Removal Procedure

  • If possible, have someone else remove the tick from you.
  • Use tweezers or forceps rather than your fingers.
  • If you must touch tick use a tissue or gloves to protect your hand.
  • Grasp the tick's mouthparts as close to the skin as possible.
  • Gently pull the tick straight out, steadily and firmly. Do not twist or jerk the tick.
  • If mouthparts of the tick break off and remain in your skin, consult your physician.

Tick Collection Procedure

  • Place tick into clean capped container or a zip-lock plastic bag. Place a piece of cotton or tissue moistened with tap water into the container with the tick. (Note: do not use alcohol, formalin or other liquids. Do not stick tick to scotch tape. These materials make testing for the Lyme organism unsatisfactory.)
  • Bring or ship tick to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Complete a laboratory "TICK IDENTIFICATION FORM" or supply the following information:
    • Name, address and birth date of person bitten.
    • Location of the bite (arm, neck, etc.)
    • Date tick removed.
    • Estimated duration of time tick was attached (i.e. 4hrs, 24hrs, etc.)
    • Geographical location (what city, park, etc.) tick was obtained.
    • Phone number, name and address of person to receive report.
    • Any obvious symptoms.

Tick Resources:

The Napa/Solano/Yolo/Marin Public Health Laboratory (NSYMPHL) offers an extensive array of clinical and biological tests related to communicable diseases. For information about specific tests, please call the laboratory at (707) 784-4410.