The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of total coliforms (TC) and faecal coliforms (FC) using a membrane filtration method for precise monitoring of faecal pollution in Korean surface water. The samples were collected in Korea from both main rivers and their tributaries. Presumptive TC · FC were enumerated. The ratios of presumptive FC to TC were not constant, but varied widely, and TC were difficult to enumerate because of overgrowth by background colonies. For FC this was not the case. Seven hundred and three purified strains of presumptive TC · FC and their background colonies were biotyped using API 20E. Among 272 presumptive TC, non-faecal related species, Aeromonas hydrophila dominated (34.6%) and E. coli accounted for only 5.1%. In contrast, E. coli made up 89% of the 209 presumptive FC. Furthermore, of 164 background colonies on Endo Agar LES, 54.9% was A. hydrophila, while background colonies on m-FC Agar were few (58 strains), and despite their atypical colony appearance, most of them were biotyped as enteric bacteria. These results reveal that the detection of FC rather than TC using m-FC Agar is more appropriate for faecal pollution monitoring in eutrophicated surface water located in a temperate region.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.