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Water Quality Assessment: Chemical: Fecal Coliform
Image of a swan swimming in a lake.Fecal coliform is a bacteria that occurs in the digestive tracks of warm-blooded animals. It aids in the process of digestion. Fecal coliform can enter a stream by direct discharge from mammals and birds, from agricultural runoff , or from open or broken sewers. Fecal coliform is itself non-pathogenic. However, it is evidence of the presence of fecal wastes that may contain pathogenic microbes. Photo 1999 -www.arttoday.com

High levels of fecal coliform--greater than 200 colonies per 100 mL of water—are a good indicator that pathogenic microorganisms may be present. Disease-causing microorganisms can enter the body though cuts in one's skin, or through one's mouth, eyes, ears, or nose. They can result in health problems ranging from common diarrhea and ear infections to deadly diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, or even typhoid fever. Therefore, it is suggested that one does not have total body contact with water containing levels of fecal coliform greater than 200 colonies per 100 mL of water.

 

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pH / Alkalinity / Hardness / Nitrates. Nitrites, and Ammonia / Ortho- and Total Phosphate / Dissolved Oxygen and Biochemical Oxygen Demand / Fecal Coliform / Conductivity and Density
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