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Coliform Screen with E. coli Bacteria Sampling

E.coli Sampling for Coliform Screen


  • To detect the presence/absence of E. coli, which is an indicator of fecal contamination in an environmental sample.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Advantages
    • No major equipment is necessary to sample for a Coliform Screen
    • Faster Turn Around Time (TAT) than other methodologies (except soils)
    • Next day rush services available
    • Testing can be performed on many matrices
    • Cost effective
  • Disadvantages
    • Results in Presence/Absence (No indication of contamination amount)
    • Total coliform results inconclusive for fecal contamination


  • Coliform Screen sampling usually requires no special equipment. Samples are typically swabs, bulks, waters, or physical pieces of the suspect materials
    • No major equipment is necessary to sample for a Coliform Screen

Sampling and Shipping Protocols

  • Samples must be shipped to the laboratory for overnight delivery as it is recommended to begin analysis within 24 hours from sampling.
  • If the samples are sent on Friday, it is usually best to ship for arrival on Saturday, not Monday. It is advisable to use a shipping company that offers tracking of packages.
  • Place samples within a cooler with ice packs. Wrap samples in bubble wrap to prevent them from coming in direct contact with ice packs. Make sure that samples are well packed and protected to prevent damage during transport.