PMID: 42349Aug 1, 1979

Rapid seven-hour fecal coliform test

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
D J ReasonerE E Geldreich


A rapid 7-h fecal coliform (FC) test for the detection of FC in water has been developed. This membrane filter test utilizes a lightly buffered lactose-based medium (m-7-h FC medium) combined with a sensitive pH indicator system. FC colonies appeared yellow against a light purple background after incubation at 41.5 degrees C for 7 to 7.25 h. Comparison of FC test results showed that the mean verified FC count ratio (7-h FC count/24-h FC count) for surface water samples was 1.08. The mean FC count ratio (7-h FC count/24-h FC count) for unchlorinater wastewater ranged from 1.95 to 5.05. Verification of yellow FC colonies from m-7-h FC medium averaged 97%. Data from field tests on Lake Michigan bathing beach water samples showed that unverified 7-h FC counts averaged 96% of the 24-h FC counts. The 7-h FC test was found to be suitable for the examination of surface waters and unchlorinated sewage and could serve as an emergency test for detection of sewage or fecal contamination of potable water.


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