The EPA Total Coliform Rule (TCR), published in 1989, set health goals and the legal limit for the presence of total coliform in drinking water. TCR mandates all public water systems to monitor for coliform as an indicator organism to indicate the presence of more harmful pathogens. On February 13, 2013, EPA published revisions to the TCR. The revised TCR:
- Requires public water systems that are vunerable to microbial contamination to idenify and fix problems; and
- Establishes criteria for systems to qualify for and stay on reduced monitoring, which could reduce water system burden and provide incentives for better system operation.
PWSs and primary agencies must comply with the revised requirements by April, 2016.
Coliform bacteria are used as "indicator" organisms instead of testing for every pathogen that could be found in water. Total coliforms include bacteria that are found in the soil, surface water, and in human and animal waste such as Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Citrobacter. Fecal coliforms are considered to be present in warm-blooded animals. Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) is the major species in the fecal coliform group and is considered to be the species that is the best indicator of fecal pollution and possible presence of pathogens.
H2M Labs also monitors local marine waters as part of the New York State Sanitary code. Enterococcus is used as the primary bacteriological indicator with sampling required weekly during the swim season.
H2M Labs is the largest drinking water laboratory in New York State and as a way to ensure client compliance with local and federal regulations, we have developed systems to monitor mandated collection frequency and health department notification requirements.
H2M Labs utilizes various methods to detect bacteria; see our test list for more details.
Please contact our Project Management team to discuss your sampling needs or project specific requirements.