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Enterococcus sampling and testing

Enterococci are Gram-positive cocci which form pairs or chains.

They are regarded as secondary indicators of faecal pollution, and the main use of the test for Enterococci is to assess the significance of coliform bacteria in a sample in the absence of Escherichia coli (E. coli).


Occasionally, identification of the species of Enterococci or Streptococci in a sample may help to distinguish between human and animal pollution.


Type of samples tested at Stansted Laboratory:

  • Drinking Tap Non-reg (UKAS )

  • Drinking Bottled Water (UKAS)

  • Drinking Bowser/ Tanker ( UKAS)

  • Recreational-Swimming Pool (UKAS )

  • Recreational- Hydrotherapy ( UKAS)

  • Recreational-Spa ( UKAS)

  • Swabs (non-UKAS)

Our method is suitable for the examination of drinking waters, including samples from all stages of treatment and distribution, recreational waters and source waters of moderate turbidity.

Samples are collected in sterilized bottles pre-dosed with 1.8% sodium thiosulphate solution. During transit and when in storage, samples should be kept cool (2°C - 8ºC).


13 References:

13.1 The Microbiology of Drinking Water (2012) - Part 5 –Methods for the Isolation and enumeration of Enterococci by filtration.

13.2 Oxoid Manual, 9th edition 2006

13.3 General Techniques for the detection of Bacteria by membrane filtration-HPA- National standard Method W1 i3.3 issue date 03.05.05 & Enumeration of Enterococci by Membrane filtration – HPA National Standard Method W3 i2.2 issue date 03.05.05

13.4 The Microbiology of Recreational and environmental waters (2015) Part 4 Methods for the isolation and enumeration of Enterococci.


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