We recently heard from 'Nate' who asked, "I did the simple coliform test for 48 hr. I noted @ 46 hr (77F) the sample was yellow as it had been from the start; I did not note the color @ 48hr time. Then this morning @ 58 hr, the sample was a little more (very light) blue or green. Will it continue to change, or does it stabilize? I thought my sample was going to be clean, but now I'm not so sure. What do you think? Thanks"
We've posed questions like yours to the manufacturer several times in the past and they always come back w/ a response along the lines of: "If a test was carried out properly, then the test results obtained at the end of the test period should be valid. Results read after the test period are not within the scope of this test."
In other words, they feel that if the test did not yield indication of a problem at the end of 48 hours and all instructions were followed to the letter, then the water ought not pose a threat... as far as bacteria is concerned.
How often should I test my water for bacteria?
As a general rule most well water professionals and health officials suggest testing your water for coliform bacteria at least once a year providing no natural or unnatural events have taken place during the year that threatened the wellhead or caused the wellhead to become unsealed.
Natural events include flooding that covers the wellhead and unexpected changes in water color, taste or odor that seemingly have no root cause.
Unnatural events include someone bumping into the wellhead with a lawn tractor and someone intentionally opening the wellhead to perform repairs.
About EZ Coliform Cult Test
The EZ Coliform Cult (MUG) Test gives homeowners and water professionals the ability to get accurate coliform bacteria test results for a water sample in 24 to 48 hours.
In the presence of coliform bacteria, the media (powder in the test container) turns blue-green and detects down to the USEPA limit of 1 coliform per 100 mL sample. Additionally, users of this test want to confirm the presence of E. Coli, illuminating the sample with blue fluorescent lighting (UV light) or adding a Kovacs reagent makes that possible.
- Detects the EPA limit of 1 cfu (coliform unit) per 100 milliliters of sample water.
- Easy and safe test procedure.
- No laboratory equipment required.
What Should I Do If My Water Tests Positive for Coliform Bacteria?
Stop using the water right away and have the water tested by a certified water testing laboratory. Then, depending upon the results, you may find that you need to invest in a water filtration system capable of rendering the bacteria incapable of reproducing (see UV Water Sterilizer) or removing it altogether (see Ceramic Water Filters).