Microbial Analysis of Water: Understanding the Approach

Have concerns about the quality of water around? Microbial analysis of water helps to confirm the safety of water to avoid negative consequences to health.

Water quality is significant in many situations, including all drinking water systems, food production, and recreational and bathing activities in freshwater and seawater. Water could operate as a channel for harmful germs originating from the feces of animals, including birds, livestock, companion animals, and humans, in water systems with insufficient quality control and sanitation. Microbial analysis of water helps to detect it.

Poor water quality has been frequently linked to the proliferation of enteric viruses. Despite massive global efforts to improve and monitor drinking water safety, it is projected that a greater percentage of the world’s population has water sources that are consistently contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Water testing labs employ microbiological analysis as the most effective approach to assess water sources for contamination from feces, and a variety of test procedures tailored for that purpose have been created to serve the water sector. Instead of testing for each conceivable pathogen, virus, or parasite that may be present in the water, microbiologists look for indicator organisms that remain present when enteric infectious agents are present.

Water, ironically, can support the growth of several microorganisms that can be useful to all of us, but the growth of certain bacteria in water that is contaminated can be harmful to our health and the environment. This article will help us understand microbial water analysis and how to test for microorganisms in water.

What is Microbial Analysis and its Impact on Water?

Microbial analysis is the use of biological, biochemical, or chemical procedures to detect, identify, or count microorganisms. It is frequently used against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms.

The quality of the water is critical to the effective separation and recognition of bacteria. Water is utilized in several phases of the microbial culture process (culture media is 99% water), and it is critical to avoid contamination, which can harm results. 

It is also critical to utilize high-quality feed water in laboratory equipment such as autoclaves and dishwashers to avoid introducing pollutants that could disrupt the culture process. ELISAs (The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) often require purified water at practically every stage of the workflow, from buffer generation to washing. In contrast, nuclease-free water is required in PCR applications to avoid nucleic acid destruction.

What is Microbial Analysis of Water?

Understanding the microbiological quality of water is important, which is why testing drinking water to confirm its safety should be a top concern to prevent any negative consequences on our health and fitness.

Microbiological testing is carried out using fecal indicator bacteria, most notably Escherichia coli, because these bacteria signal the existence of fecal contamination instead of directly detecting pathogens. This analysis is carried out in a laboratory using strict processes to ensure consistent results.

Furthermore, the presence of dirt in water suggests the presence of microorganisms, which can be detected through water turbidity. The existence of bacteria and viruses may reduce water clarity.

Turbidity is a quick approach to determine whether or not the water quality is worsening. It is pretty natural to check the microbiological content and chemical cleanliness of water samples to seal the deal on good industrial practices.

How Does One Go About Testing For Microorganisms In Water?

Microbiological-independent water testing is the proper method for detecting bacteria in water. To avoid risk and assure disease prevention, drinking water supplies must undergo periodic microbiological testing in accordance with international standards.

Coliform organisms and indicator organisms

Coliform (a type of gram-negative bacteria that can break down lactose and produce gas in 48 hours at either 35oC or 44/44.5oC) is one of the finest standards for facile isolation, detection, and counting for microbial water testing. 

Coliform is usually present in water when enteric infections or viruses are discovered. On the other hand, a high ‘total coliform’ count would always necessitate additional testing to confirm fecal coliforms. The fecal coliforms are Escherichia, Enterobacter, and Klebsiella, while Citrobacter and Serratia are found especially in plants and soil. 

Coliform test for water quality ensures the detection of fecal streptococci/enterococci and indicates the existence of fecal contamination.

Rapid Techniques

The IDEXX Colilert detects coliforms using a colorimetric ONPG test and E. coli using a fluorescence MUG assay. Based on the product, Colilert can identify these microorganisms concurrently within 18-24 hours. It can also kill 2 million heterotrophic bacteria per 100 mL of solution. 

The IDEXX Enterolert Test employs a patented Defined Substrate Technology (DST) nutritional indicator to detect enterococci.

Filtration through membranes

Membrane Filtration requires only a small amount of incubator area and can clearly manage big volumes of water. It is one of the most popular methods for detecting indicator organisms in water for microbiological testing. In order to retain bacterial cells, a measure of water is pumped through a sterile membrane filter with a small hole size. 

After that, the filter is thoroughly transferred to the surface of a culture medium plate or an absorptive pad soaked with an appropriate selective medium and incubated. Colonies are allowed to form on the surface of the filter for direct examination.

Our Microbial Water Analysis Laboratory

Despite the fact that microbial limits may be low and harmless, various microbiological studies show that the quality of water packaged for sale does not match regulatory criteria and guidelines. It is important to check for indicator microorganisms since the presence of diseases at low levels makes monitoring difficult.

Olympian Water Testing offers customized water testing services for bacteria or microorganisms to both residential and business clients. Water samples from hotels, schools, restaurants, canteens, food processing units, manufacturing units, factories, retail outlets, and all other food enterprises are sampled and analyzed by us.

There are several reasons why you should test your water for germs. Whatever the reason is to you, you can rely on Olympian Water Testing

Our lab personnel will come to your place and collect water samples professionally. We will return your ice-cold samples to our NELAP-certified laboratory to test the water for microorganisms. Call Olympian Water Testing to make a booking for microbial water testing.

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