I need assistance with the following:
1. Explain the use of indicator organisms in water management.
2. What are the three stages for identification of coli-forms in a water sample? Can you confirm the presence of coli-forms at each stage? Why or why not?
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1. The concept of indicator organism was introduced in 1892 and as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has since formed the 'gold standard' and the basis for most water quality standards today. Even with today's advances in microbiology it is quite challenging and complex to detect pathogenic bacteria and viruses in water. It can be extremely difficult and expensive to isolate specific organisms. (APHA, 1992; EPA, 2012).
Many species are rarely found in large enough numbers to make it easier for microbiologists to detect them. On the other hand, others are nearly impossible to cultivate in a laboratory as they can be 'high maintenance' requiring a controlled and conducive combination of environmental conditions in which to grow (Scientific Informer (SI), n.d.). As such, instead of trying to identify elusive pathogens in a water sample, monitoring programs tend to test instead, for the presence of non-pathogenic bacteria. These are usually far more numerous and easier to detect. This approach is based on the theory that if certain non-harmful indicator organisms are present in a water sample, chances are harmful bacteria or viruses are also presents (APHA, 1992; SI, n.d.).
For decades, public health agencies have largely relied upon the presence of especially two coli-form bacteria groups, total coli-forms and fecal coli-forms, as indicators of bacterial contamination in water. Coli-forms are two ...
The expert examines water management and microbiology. The three stages for identification of coli-forms in a water sample. The use of indicator organism in water management are provided.