Total Coliform/Fecal Coliform Ratio

Doug Rice drice at drice.ehs.colostate.edu
Wed Dec 13 19:34:17 EST 1995

In article <4an4hc$88s at nntp3.news.primenet.com> kebab at primenet.com writes:
>From: kebab at primenet.com
>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.  Does anyone know of a reference for this.
>Please Email me at kebab at primenet.com.

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.  This ratio was left out of the Standard Methods of Water and 
Wastewater (APHA) in the last two or three editions.  It was left out for good 
reason;  the ratio only works if several (many) conditions are met.  For the 
definitive reference, look up the 14th or 15 edition of Standard Methods.

Good Luck!
Doug Rice:  Laboratory Director; Environmental Quality Laboratory 
Microbiology of water, food, soil, and air. 
Colorado State University:  Ft Collins, Colorado. 
e-mail:  drice at vines.colostate.edu     voice:  (970) 491-6503

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