Coliform bacteria are a natural part of the microbiology of the intestinal tract of warmblooded mammals, including us. Coliform bacteria are not pathogenic (disease causing) organisms and are only mildly infectious. If large numbers of coliforms are found in water, there is a high probability that other nastier pathogenic bacteria or organisms may be present.
Total coliform counts give a general indication of the sanitary condition (i.e. how clean or dirty) of a water supply.
The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in aquatic environments indicates that the water has been contaminated with the fecal material of people or other animals. The presence of fecal contamination is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to this water.
Fecal coliform bacteria may occur in water as a result of the overflow of domestic sewage or nonpoint sources of human and animal waste.
What do the Coliform Bacteria results mean?
Coliform bacteria count per 100ml
1 – 3: Satisfactory
4 – 9: Intermediate
Greater than 10: Unsatisfactory