HPC Samplers / Testers

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HPC Sampler test
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Current stock level : 369
(More in production)

Current Stock expiry date :
31 January 2025

The HPC Sampler contains heterotrophic plate count agar which allows the user to evaluate the aerobic bacterial levels in liquids (including stressed bacteria). HPC Samplers are often used in a variety of applications including dental DUWLs, potable water, purified and process waters, equipment CIP rinse water and industrial and healthcare hygiene applications. 

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Product Information
Agar Type HPC
Agar Growth Heterotrophic Plate Count
Countable Range 1- 300 CFU

About Our hpc samplers / testers

HPC Samplers / Testers for liquid testing

Quantitative, heterotrophic plate count samplers / testers with membrane filtration.

Water samples tested using Heterotrophic Plate Count agar generally grows an increased number of colonies. It detects slower growing species (e.g bacteria stressed by chlorine, heat or starvation) unlike nutrient rich agars that can suppress them.

These dipslides feature m-HPC culture media for the growth of oxygen requiring / tolerant bacteria. These samplers will recover healthy and stressed micro-organisms.

HPC samplers are more sensitive than traditional dipslides and are ideal for samples where the micro-organism concentration / target value is between 1 & 300 cfu/ml. This makes the samplers suitable for applications such as dental waterlines where the microbiological concentration limit guidelines are low (e.g 100-200 cfu/ml).

Bacteria, yeasts and moulds will grow with differing appearances:

Bacteria: colourless, cream, light yellow colonies. Translucent or transparent, circular or irregularly shaped.

Mould colonies: Fuzzy, whitish grey.

Yeast colonies: Opaque, satiny white or green colonies.

Please note these samplers are for liquid testing only. Long shelf life (up to 18 months) and no incubator required!

How to use

HPC sample chamber.

Collect Sample

Collect a sample in the 18ml sample chamber (fill up to the marked line).

Place the hpc sampler into the chamber.

Drop HPC Sampler into the chamber

Drop paddle into sample solution and close the paddle within the chamber.

Lay HPC Sampled down.

Lay HPC Sampler down

Lay the sampler down on its side with the filter side facing down for 30 seconds. The pad on the paddle will absorb 1ml of liquid sample.

HPC sample chamber.

Empty Chamber

Empty the tester, discarding the sample liquid. Shake the paddle and chamber vigorously to remove excess sample droplets.

Place the hpc sampler into the chamber.

Incubate HPC Sampler

Place the paddle back within the chamber ensuring a tight seal. Lay sampler device down on its side again (with filter side facing down). Leave paddle to 'incubate' at room temperature. 

Count the colonies

Count the colonies

Count the dots (colonies) and compare with the chart provided.

  • Collect sample in the 18ml sample chamber. 
  • Drop paddle into sample solution, close the paddle within the chamber. Lay sampler device down on its side with filter side facing down for 30 seconds. The pad on the paddle will absorb 1ml of liquid sample.
  • Empty the tester, discarding the sample liquid. Shake the paddle and chamber vigorously to remove excess sample droplets.
  • Place the paddle back within the chamber ensuring a tight seal. Lay sampler device down on its side again (with filter side facing down). Leave paddle to 'incubate' at room temperature. Please note, no separate incubator is required with the HPC sampler / tester.
  • Stressed micro-organisms (such as those damaged by chlorine) will take longer to recover.  Simply incubate at room temperature (approx 20 degrees C) for 7 days. Alternatively, for faster results incubate for 72 hours at 25 °C or 48 hours at 35 °C.
  • Count the colonies on the pad. Counted colonies can be recorded as cfu/ml since the sample volume is 1ml. 

Reading the HPC sampler results

Colony Count




Example Image

10 colonies on the HPC dipslide 30 colonies on the HPC dipslide 100 colonies on the HPC dipslide


  • Drinking water
  • Water treatment companies (industrial and drinking) 
  • Laboratory water purification systems
  • Dental
  • Breweries
  • Food / beverage
  • Hygiene monitoring
  • Swimming pools
  • Chlorination systems

Information for Laboratory water testing applications

Example target values for microbial counts in water

Application Total Viable Count cfu/ml
Sample preparation  <10
Potable water  <100
Glassware washing, feed-water for higher grade water <1000

The above example chart excludes Sterile Water, Water For Injectable, ultra pure water for semi-conductor industry.

Heterotrophic plate count target values for reagent grade water (based on guidance from ASTM D1193, NIH, INSPQ and NCCLS among others):

Target Value Alert Limit
Reagent Grade Water
10 cfu/ml 50 cfu/ml <100 cfu/ml

What is the difference between the HPC sampler / tester and your other dipslides?

There are a few differences. One is that our other dipslides are semi quantitative tools which means that when evaluating the results, the user counts the colonies e.g 12 and then compares this with the chart. In this case the chart would say that this is 10/3 (1000 cfu/ml) so 12 colonies equals 1000 cfu/ml.

The HPC samplers are quantitative tests. This means that if you count 12 colonies, the result is 12 cfu/ml. This is a more accurate way of testing as it is more in line with / equal to laboratory tests. The semi quantitative dipslide tests still offer a good guide of the level of micro-organisms in the sample. However, the quantitative HPC samplers offer more accurate results when testing samples with lower CFUs. The samplers would be ideal for applications where recommendations for micro-organism levels are low e.g dental DUWLs (100 - 200 cfu/ml), laboratory reagent grade water (10 cfu/ml).

So to recap, dipslides are semi quantitative e.g 12 colonies = 10/3 (1000 cfu/ml)

HPC samplers are quantitative e.g 12 colonies – 12 cfu/ml

The other differences are that the HPC samplers do not require a separate incubator and the HPC samplers can have a much longer shelf life (min. of 6 months and max. of 18 months compared to 6-8 months).

How do membrane filters work?

The HPC sampler features a 0.45µm membrane filter. Microbial membrane pore sizes are purposely designed to block 100% micro-organisms so that they will grow on the media. In fact, the membrane filter size used on the HPC samplers is a size that is a recognised standard for microbial growth.

This filter size provides an improved chance to recover and grow the largest amount of micro-organisms (as microbes differ in size).

Different sized filters are sometimes used when testing specific samples such as liquids that contain particles that may block filters (such as pulp in fruit juice). Another example of when a different sized filter may be required would be when the user wants to test purely for yeast. In this case, they may use a filter with a larger pore size to let the smaller bacteria flow through the filter rather than grow on the media.

However, in most cases the 0.45µm pore size (used in the HPC sampler) will be the most suitable and will be appropriate for the widest variety of applications and samples.

Customer Questions


Is this the same type of dipslide as Millipore's MHPC10025 red samplers?


Yes, these will give the same results and are used in the same way. If you switched from MHPC10025 red samplers to ours, you would not need to change the way you conduct your tests.

Additional Details

Product Reference : mHPC

Internal catalogue reference : DS001-149

Product external rating on reviews.co.uk:

5.0 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings

Reviews (independently collected by reviews.co.uk)