Coliforms can be found in a digestive tract of various animals and in human.

Coliforms are a main signal of a faeces water pollution.

They mostly live in a digestive tract of warm-blooded animals, so they belong to a group called enterobacteria. Some tribes of coliforms are pathogenic, creating toxins which can infiltrate the tissue and threaten health. Biologically they vary e.g. by a host organism or biochemical properties.

Amongst the most common tribes of coliforms causing a digestive problems and illnesses belongs for example Escherichia, Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia, which can not only cause salmonellosis from food but also a colic, typhoid or bubonic plague. The most common source of infection is the E. coli (Escherichia). More information can be found here: Escherichia coli

After a water ingestion where colonies of coliforms are present, a nausea, diarrhea and vomiting can occur.

Coliforms limit in a drinkable water for a 100 ml sample = 0.

Occurrence of coliforms in water

The usual environment to the bacteria is a digestive tract of mammals and they won’t survive outside the host body longer than few days. It can be said that the presence of these bacteria indicates a water source pollution by faeces, whether it’s due to a lack of water source protection, bad water treatment or a secondary contamination. Regarding the possible health risks it is appropriate to check the water quality and when a microbiological finding is there, the problem needs to be solved.

Removal of coliforms

Coliforms don’t resist temperatures over 50 °C and with pasteurizing temperatures higher than 72 °C they should reliably die.
Removal of coliforms, ‘though, is usually done by adding or periodical dosing of appropriate disinfection products. A special filtration can be used, too.


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On this page: coliforms, coliform bacteria removal, e. coli, bakteria coli, coli bacteria, e. coli well, bacteria escherichia coli, E.coli

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