Microbiological Fact Sheet

Description Membrane Filter Technique for Fecal Streptococcus Groups
Method SM9203C
Method Summary A sample of water is filtered through a 0.45 μm membrane filter. The membrane is placed on selective medium (mE), incubated at 35°C, and presumptive fecal streptococci bacterial colonies are enumerated. These presumptive fecal streptococci bacterial colonies are then subjected to verification procedures and the confirmed count is reported.

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Scope and Application Fecal streptococci normally inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. The occurrence of fecal streptococci in water indicates very recent fecal contamination by warm-blooded animals, as this bacterium is not known to multiply in the environment and has limited survival time outside the animal intestinal tract. The membrane filter technique for fecal streptococci can be used in combination with data from other coliform bacteria results for sanitary evaluation when a more precise determination of sources of contamination is necessary.
Total Coliform Organisms Fecal streptococci generally occur in the digestive systems of humans and other warm-blooded animals. In the past, fecal streptococci were monitored together with fecal coliforms and a ratio of fecal coliforms to streptococci was calculated. This ratio was used to determine whether the contamination was of human or nonhuman origin. However, this is no longer recommended as a reliable test.
Result Interpretation CFU/100 mL = Colony Forming Units in 100 mL of Sample

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