Our water potability tests are to test for Coliform Bacteria. The subgroups of Coliform Bacteria are:
Total Coliform Bacteria:
These organisms are very prolific in the soil and their presence does not necessarily imply poor wastewater disposal or other sanitation based health risks. The presence of only total coliform generally does not imply an imminent health risk but does require an analysis of all water systems facilities and their operation to determine how these organisms entered the water system. “Public notice” to public water system users is required since a properly constructed and properly maintained water system should not have total coliform present.
Fecal Coliform Bacteria:
This is a much smaller group within the total coliform family. Fecal coliform generally originate in the intestines of mammals. They have a relatively short life span compared to more general coliforms. Their presence could be related to improper disposal of sanitary waste. Immediate “public notice” to public water system users is required due to the higher perceived risk of disease organisms also being presence in water.
Escherichia Coli (e-coli) Bacteria:
This is a specific species (subgroup) within the coliform family. They originate only in the intestines of animals and humans. Like fecal coliform they have a relatively short life span compared to more general coliform. Their presence indicates a strong likelihood that human or animal wastes are entering the water system. Immediate “public notice” is required due to higher perceived risk of disease organism also being presence in the water.