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What is Coliform Bacteria?

The most basic test to see if your drinking water is safe is to test for total coliform bacteria and E. coli. Coliform bacteria are a natural indicator bacterium, meaning that if there is a presence of coliform there is likely to be other bacteria in the water source. Water that is considered potable has a zero bacteria count.

  • Total Coliform is a family of bacteria that are found in the organic sources, such as soil, water that has been influenced by surface water, and in human or animal waste.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the major species in the fecal coliform group. Of the five general groups of bacteria that comprise the coliform family, only E. coli is generally not found growing and reproducing in the environment. Consequently, E. coli is considered to be the species of coliform bacteria that is the best indicator of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens.

When Should I Test?

Late spring and autumn are the best times to test your well or spring since coliform contamination is most commonly introduced to a water source through snowmelt and heavy rain. Whether your test results are positive or negative, it's important to understand that the sample collected is just a "snapshot" of your well's water quality. It is recommended that you test your water annually to ensure that it's safe to drink.

Moose River Environmental Lab, LLC is dedicated to providing great customer service to those who require fast and accurate test results. We have water test kits available to purchase online to meet everyone’s needs! We also provide full-service, on site, water quality sampling should you need a neutral third party for testing! Order a kit or request a full-service water sampling today!