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Coliform Bacteria

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Coliform bacteria are nonpathogens present in fecal matter. The presence of coliform bacteria in a water supply indicates fecal contamination (sewage has contaminated the water). Coliform bacteria have the following properties:

  • Facultative aerobes

  • Gram negative

  • non-sporeforming rods

  • lactose-fermenting

  • typically not pathogenic

  • predominantly E. coli

  • used as an indicator of contamination of the water supply