Northeast Environmental
Testing Laboratory, Inc.
472 Smith Street,  Providence, Rhode Island  02908  (401) 454-3400
Copyright © 2008  Northeast Environmental Testing Laboratory, Inc.
Coliform Bacteria originate as organisms in soil
or vegetation and in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded
animals (fecal coli). This group of bacteria has long been
an indicator of the contamination of water and possible
presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens. The
coliform bacteria are relatively simple to identify, are
present in much larger numbers than the more
dangerous pathogens, and react to the natural
environment and treatment processes in a manner and
degree similar to pathogens. Thus by observing coliform
bacteria, the increase or decrease of many pathogenic
bacteria can be estimated.