Microbiological Water Testing:

Pure water is considered the world’s best and foremost medicine, leading to many advanced developments over the years, filtering and maintaining water in its purest form in an attempt to eliminate the presence of pathogens. Accordingly, microbiological analysis of water is undoubtedly considered the most effective way of detecting fecal contamination, best known best for its ability to sustain the growth of various kinds of microorganisms, both beneficial and harmful for the body. Sample water testing from an authorized and advanced laboratory marks an indispensable step in any domain to fulfill regulatory requirements, be it pharma, food, beverages, cosmetics, etc. As per the data recorded by the World Health Organisation, around 1 billion people are reported to have access to water sources that are essentially contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. The reasons primarily reported include poor water quality control and sanitation regulations. Forwarding ahead, the bacterial traces of Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Vibrio, etc. found in the intestinal tracts of humans, animals, birds, and livestock may also contaminate water through feces.

Testing Processes At E-Labs:

Microbiological testing is fundamentally the process to understand the microbial quality of water to ensure the safety of drinking water and annihilate any inimical results. The testing process requires the use of a fecal bacteria indicator, using proper procedures to achieve consistent consequences. Additionally, the presence of soil in the water also stipulates microorganisms that could be systematically perceived through turbidity of water. Some of the best methods for microbiological water testing are:

  • Coliform & Indicator Organisms:  Coliform is considered as one of the best standards for hassle-free detection, enumeration dm isolation for microbial water testing, which is a group of gram-negative bacteria that primarily ferments lactose with a production of gas within 2 days at 35ºC. However, to keep in mind, a high count in the total coliform generally always requires extensive analysis to guarantee the presence of fecal coliforms. Thus, this constitutes the easiest method of microbiological water testing.
  • Culture Media:  Most commonly recommended medium for coliforms is the membrane lauryl sulfate broth. To confirm the identity of the present colonies on the filters, Membrane Enterococcus Agar (mEA) and Membrane Enterococcus Indoxyl-ß-D-Glucoside Agar (mEI) are generally used (to determine enterococci).In some other instances, Tryptose Sulphite Cycloserine Agar is also used, without the egg yolk, to culture another colony of bacterial traces. Additionally, chromogenic and fluorogenic media are used in water microbiology. 
  • Membrane Filtration: This particular method involves a huge incubator space to coherently manage large volumes of water, progressing through the sterile membrane filtration process. The unique process involves a filtration system with small pores for retaining the bacterial cells while the water gushes through the incubator directly. The collected colony is then transferred to a saturated absorbent pad and examined directly to identify the feces traces.
  • Traditional Culture: Although still in use to detect heterotrophic bacteria, this method has its limitations due to the pour and spread plate count process. It involves the addition of measured volumes of water, to a definite series of differential-filled tubes, with color-changing growth indicators. 
  • Legionella in cooling towers: It is an organism that is known for its higher tolerance of chlorine, and the ability to survive within a colony of parasites. Legionella in cooling towers provides a favorable condition for L. pnuemophila to survive and become an expert transport for it to disseminate into the atmosphere. 

Parameters for Water Quality:

1. Nitrogen (NO3-n): When nitrogen exceeds in fresh and saltwater, being a crucial element for plant growth and aquatic ecosystem, it leads to the unfavorable growth of excessive algal, ultimately causing the depletion in the oxygen levels. Thus, it becomes grievous for the aquatic life to survive and flourish henceforth. 

2. E-Coli: E-Coli is found in the fecal matter of animals, birds, humans, and mammals, and belongs to the family of total coliform. They do not thrive in the fecal remains but live in soils instead. 

3. Total Coliform: Fecal coliform, E-Coli and total coliform are all different kinds of bacterial indicators of contaminated water with fecal matter, containing pathogens. 

Microbiological Water Testing At E-Labs:

With laboratories recognized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), at E-Labs we offer an extensive range of testing facilities with the best equipment available in the market, carrying out sampling and analysis from a vast array of business prospects such as food business, manufacturing units, factories, etc. 

To begin with, a water sample is required to submit at E-Labs along with a testing request, confirming its compliance with the Bureau of Indian Standards portable water guidelines. Most often the parameters to be tested are requested by the clients themselves, be it microbiological, physical, or chemical, conforming to the specific methods required in the process. The water sample is collected by one of our personnel at the location provided with proper temperature checks for microbiological water testing. The detailed report of the analysis is shared with the customer from time to time with the status tracking facility of the sample order.

Microbiological testing of water remains one of the most relevant testing requirements to curb out any traces of contamination in the water that we consume or use in the formulation of products from microorganisms.