Water Quality Testing I: Chromogenic Analysis of Water Contaminants
Testing drinking water for every possible type of pathogenic bacteria is slow and costly. Thus, drinking water is tested for coliforms - including the familiar E. coli. Presence of coliforms is an indicator of fecal contamination.
In this experiment, students will test for coliforms in simulated contaminated water using color and fluorescent reagents. They can use these same reagents to test water samples from the environment. As an extension activity, a Gram Stain test can be performed on the collected samples.