Product Application

Are Coliform Bacteria Harmful?

Most coliform bacteria do not cause disease. However, some rare strains of E. coli, particularly the strain 0157:H7, can cause serious illness. Recent outbreaks of disease caused by E. coli 0157:H7 have generated much public concern about this organism. E. coli 0157:H7 has been found in cattle, chickens, pigs, and sheep. Most of the reported human cases have been due to eating under cooked hamburger. Cases of E. coli 0157:H7 caused by contaminated drinking water supplies are rare.

Coliform Testing

Testing for bacteria is the only reliable way to know if your water is safe. You cannot tell by the look, taste, or smell of the water if disease-causing organisms are in it.  If you have experienced bacteria problems in the past, it is recommended that you test your well more frequently.

When Should I Test for well ?

Late spring or early summer are the best times to test your well, since coliform contamination is most likely to show up during wet weather. Whether your test results are positive or negative. The more samples you have tested, the more confident you can be about the quality of the water you are drinking.

What do the Results Mean?

If coliform bacteria are present in your drinking water, your risk of contracting a water-borne illness is increased. Although total coliforms can come from sources other than fecal matter, a positive total coliform sample should be considered an indication of pollution in your well. Positive fecal coliform results, especially positive E. Coli results, should be considered indication of fecal pollution in your well.

What Should be done if Coliform Bacteria are Detected in tank?

When coliforms have been detected, repairs or modifications of the water system may be required. Boiling the water is advised until disinfection and retesting can confirm that contamination has been eliminated. A defective well is often the cause when coliform bacteria are found in well water.