top of page
  • Writer's pictureMark Rogers

Did you say POOP? What is Coliform Bacteria and E. coli?

Updated: Jan 18

Total Coliform Bacteria Waterborne diseases can be spread by drinking water that has been contaminated with infected fecal wastes from humans or animals. Examples of these diseases include salmonellosis, dysentery, and hepatitis. It may take only a small number of disease organisms to make someone sick. The symptoms of these diseases often include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes fever. It is not unusual for people to mistake a case of water-related disease for “food poisoning” or a “24-hour flu bug.” Remember, contaminated water can often look, smell, and taste fine.

It is not practical to test water for every possible disease-causing organism. Instead, water is usually tested for one particular group of bacteria known as the total coliform group. These organisms serve as indicator bacteria — they indicate how sanitary your water system is. Coliform bacteria can be found everywhere on the land surface but are usually not found more than a few feet below the soil surface. Coliform bacteria are also found in the

What is Coliform Bacteria and E. coli water testing
Water Testing for Coliform Bacteria and E. coli

intestinal tract (and fecal wastes) of all warm-blooded animals. Most coliform bacteria do not usually cause disease, but if they show up in a water test, they indicate that surface contamination has somehow entered the water and disease-causing organisms may also be present. Remember that waterborne infectious disease is caused by fecal contamination, which is usually found only on the ground surface (in the case of animal waste) or near the surface (in the case of contamination from sewers or septic systems).

What is E. coli? Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of both healthy people and animals. In most cases, this bacteria is harmless. It helps digest the food you eat. However, certain strains of E. coli can cause symptoms including diarrhea, stomach pain cramps, and low-grade fever. Some E. coli infections can be dangerous.


Is your water the best it can be? Clean water is critical for your and your family’s health. High Mark inspections offer comprehensive water quality testing services.

Our professional, certified home inspectors will take samples from your home water source and have them tested in an accredited laboratory and we will email you the results. Call today to schedule your Coliform Bacteria and E. Coli water test.

19 views0 comments
bottom of page