Total Coliform/Fecal Coliform Ratio

Stephen Mamber mamber at
Mon Dec 18 09:33:44 EST 1995

In article <drice.25.30CF7109 at>, drice at (Doug Rice) says:
>In article <4an4hc$88s at> kebab at writes:
>>From: kebab at
>>Subject: Total Coliform/Fecal Coliform Ratio
>>Date: 13 Dec 1995 11:03:24 -0700
>>I have heard the premise that a Total Coliform/Fecal Coliform ratio of
>>4 or less in drinking water, recreational waters etc.,  usually
>>indicates sewage pollution.  
>A ratio of greater than 4 usually indicates some type of human pollution.  
>Below 4 indicates a mixed organic impact.  A ratio of around 1.0 indicates 
>animal feces. 

I think you mean FC/FS for fecal coliform/fecal streptococcus.  
This was based on an observation that animal feces appeared to
contain more FS than FC. Check the older editions of Standard Methods 
as suggested by Rice.

All TC vs FC will tell you is if the coliforms in question are of
fecal origin (i.e., E. coli) or of environmental origin (i.e., 
Klebsiella or Enterobacter).  There's no 'ratio' involved here.


mamber at

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