Do I test fir Coliform in a private water system

I am completing the Plumbing Course. In well or private water systems, we we to test for Coliform or just observe? What does Coliform look like? How would I know what I am looking at if I have never experienced this type of contamination? If we are to test for this bacteria, what tools do I use to confirm this bacteria is present?

The way to confirm coliform is by qualified laboratory analysis.


All water tests require a lab for analysis. Only VA/FHA loans require testing for caliform. The standard bacteria test is good for all others. Contact your local health department about water testing. Mine only does bacteria. I put source a local lab for my VA/FHA tests.
You only collect the samples, water will just look like water, you will not be able to see any of the bacteria or lead in the water.

Typically, go to your state or county water testing lab. They will provide their test kit and instructions with their protocols which may vary from instructions that you find at various websites. Last year, I had a mild argument with an agent who was insistent on taking the sample per something she had read online. I firmly told her that I followed the protocols from our county lab. She’s a long-time agent and sure she knows more than me. She will no longer refer her clients to me and I am fine with that.

1 Like

That was the answer to my question. Thanks!

Yahoo Mail: Search, Organize, Conquer

We offer water testing as an auxiliary service. We usually only do it for private water systems (wells) There are a few labs around our metropolitan area that can perform the tests. They provide the sample collection bottles. It’s relatively simple and they provide instructions for sample collection. The samples have a short holding time so I only collect the water when I know I can deliver the samples to the lab within 24 hours. I think the holding time is actually 26 hours.

Contact a local lab that preforms water analysis. They will send you a kit for free. I work with a lab that I made my own “standard water test”. That is total coliform, E.coli, nitrate, nitrite, iron, manganese, sodium, chloride, hardness, fluoride, copper, lead, arsenic, and PH. We are also Radon state and nrpp cert. So we do Radon in water too, do around 200 water test a year. they send us a box of 20 every month.
Generally you can also just do a specific test as well. If you just want lead, or bacteria.