Microbial Analysis

Authored by: Pradyot Patnaik

Handbook of Environmental Analysis

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498745611
eBook ISBN: 9781315151946
Adobe ISBN:


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A variety of bacteria, parasites, and viruses, known as pathogens can potentially cause health problems in humans from ingestions. The sanitary quality of all waters for the purpose of drinking, bathing, swimming, or for wastewater treatments is mostly evaluated from coliform tests. Such microbial examinations serve as indicator of the quality of water supplies. The term “Coliform” broadly refers to all lactose fermenting, gas forming members of the family of bacteria, known as, Enterobacteriaceae. Such bacteria also include the intestinal microbes Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Enterbacter. However, there may be many soil bacteria that also ferment lactose. Since it may not be feasible to test the presence of all fecal contaminating pathogens in the water, the presence of E. coli is used instead as an indicator organism to determine any possible fecal contamination.

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