A lot of people fear coliform bacteria… because so many water treatment companies have blurred the terms ‘coliform bacteria’ and E. Coli. While true that E. Coli does exist as a part of the coliform bacteria family, one should NOT assume that both terms mean the same thing.
According to the EPA web site, “Coliforms are naturally present in the environment; as well as feces; fecal coliforms and E. coli only come from human and animal fecal waste.”
That means coliforms will occur in the absence of fecal matter, or fecal matter contamination, but they may not necessarily indicate that a water supply will make a person sick. The presence of coliforms in a water supply do, however, give good reason for a person to have their water tested by a certified water testing lab — to check for the presence of E. Coli.
Testing for Coliform Bacteria
First and foremost we want to stress that you should trust the results of no test other than an analysis performed by a certified water testing laboratory to tell you that your water supply definitely contains no harmful E. Coli bacteria.
At-home drinking water test kits containing a product such as the EZ Coliform Bacteria Test still serve a purpose, though, since they allow well owners and concerned municipal water customers to perform on-the-spot field tests for coliforms without having to come out of pocket for expensive lab test each time they would like to check on the quality of their water.
Basically speaking, if an inexpensive test kit like the EZ Coliform Bacteria Test Kit yields positive results, concerned parties should then seek the assistance of a certified water testing lab.
Can at-home test kits detect E. Coli, too?
As a matter of fact, the EZ Coliform Bacteria Test Kit can positively identify E. Coli in a water supply when used in conjunction with a UV light source such as the Sensafe NVF-4 Handheld UV Light.
If after the 24 to 48 hour waiting period the sample gives off an iridescence when exposed to ultraviolet light, it contains E. Coli.
One could also use something called a Kovacs Reagent with the to EZ Coliform Bacteria Test Kit confirm the presence of E. Coli in a water sample.