The objective of this study was to evaluate whether an 240-ml water bottle provided to individually housed mice would remain potable for a 2-week interval (based on absence of coliforms). The study used inbred C57BL/6 mice and CB6F1 x C3D2F1 hybrid mice. Test groups were assigned to minimize the variables of strain, caging type (non-ventilated static versus ventilated) and building location. A 3-cc sample of drinking water was removed aseptically from the bottles and vacuum-filtered using a 250-ml filter funnel with a 0.45-μm pore size. The membrane filter was removed using sterile forceps and placed on a blood agar plate for 10 min. The plate was streaked and incubated at 37°C for 5 days. The plates were observed daily, and if growth had occurred, further testing was done to determine specific organisms. Of the 148 samples only 23 had any bacterial growth. Typical bacteria were unspeciated gram-positive bacilli and Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Streptococcus, and Pantoea species. The absence of coliforms and low percentage of bacterial contamination suggest that drinking water will remain potable for 2 weeks when supplied to an individual mouse.