Today we'd like to highlight a convenient, useful way for the average person to check their water for the presence of coliform bacteria, a contaminant that may indicate fecal contamination of a water source.
In case you did not know, health officials and water experts suggest having one's well water tested at least once a year for coliform bacteria and more often than that if the well head seal gets breached or flood waters cover the well head at any point.
The EZ Coliform Cult (MUG) Test makes it possible for homeowners and water professionals alike to get accurate coliform bacteria test results for a water sample in just 24 hours -- no incubator required!
The media turns blue-green in the presence of coliform bacteria and can detect down to the USEPA limit of 1 coliform per 100 mL sample. Additionally, users of this test can confirm the specific presence of E. Coli by illuminating the sample with blue fluorescent lighting (UV light) or by adding a Kovacs reagent.
Why Test for Bacteria?
- If you have a private well the responsibility for the quality of the water coming out of that well rests on your shoulders. No one will come out and do periodic testing to make sure you and your family have safe, clean drinking water free of coliform bacteria such as E. Coli.
- If you have tap water (i.e. city water, municipal water, etc.) the water provider performs regular testing of the water for bacteria at the water treatment facility... but the water must travel through many miles of piping before it reaches your tap and at any point during that long journey bacteria could possibly find its way into the water supply -- and you would never know until after someone got sick.
What Should I Do If My Water Tests Positive for Coliform Bacteria?
Stop drinking the water right away and have the water tested by a certified water testing laboratory. Then, depending upon the results, you may need to invest in some sort of filtration system capable of rendering the bacteria incapable of reproducing (see UV Water Sterilizer) or removing them altogether (see Ceramic Water Filters by Berkey).
The important part: Test your water for coliform bacteria so you can make an educated decision when it comes to purchasing or not purchasing a water filter for your home, school or office!