dwhite dwhite at
Mon Jun 19 20:37:50 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.90.950615135357.9260A-100000 at ug>, redwood at UG.CS.DAL.CA (Ira Redwood) says:
>  Hi
>Are there any simple, do-at-home type tests that someone could do to 
>merely test for the presence of coliform? I've read of the more 
>complicated ones that identify and quantify the bacteria, but I have a 
>landowner that simply wants to test to see if there's a presence, and 
>avoid the high cost of getting repeated tests done. Any ideas?
>        Ira (Red Dog) Redwood   |           My Heart Is:
>        Advanced Major          |               
>        Environmental Science   |       Canadian First, Eh!
>        Dalhousie University    |       
>        Halifax, Nova Scotia    |       Albertan Second, Bud!
>        Canada                  |       
>        redwood at    |       Nova Scotian T'ird, B'ye!
Red Dog,

The closest that I know of that comes to a home test is the Colilert test
(Environetics-Access Analytical).  This is a 24 hour test at 35C so it would
require a an incubator.  It would also require a Wood's lamp (blacklight).
The test is a premeasured powder which is placed in a nonflourescing vessel
incubated for 24 hours and then observed for yellow color (positive total
coliform) and fluorescence (positive E. coli).  A comparator is provided 
with each lot purchased for interpretive purposes.  But even with this 
relative ease of use it is not a "home test".  Since very few home-owners
would relish the idea of purchasing a 35 +/- 0.5 C incubator no matter how
troublesome their well.  A true home test for coliforms I don't believe
really exists right now.  And I wonder given the importance of individuals
having truly safe potable water if this is something that should ever be 
done in the home setting rather than in a qualified lab.


D White

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