Simply called E.coli, Escherichia coli is one of the main species of bacteria living in the lower intestines of mammals. Except for one strain, E. coli strain O157:H7 which usually only grows in the guts of cows, the bacterium is not pathogenic. Escherichia coli lives in the intestinal track of cows.
E. coli are a subgroup of Coliform group. They are the most numerous coliform species and most are considered non-pathogenic (normally not able to cause illness). E.coli can be found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. The presence of E.coli in foods is considered to be an indication of fecal contamination.
If there has been a sewage backup, toilet overflow, or waste water leak that produces an odor, chances are that it contains E.coli. It needs to be professionally cleaned up. Isolate the areas impacted and call a professional abatement company. Your chosen abatement company should follow the national standard for bacterial removal which is the IICRC S500. The IICRC S500 is the standard for sewage or black water clean up. The IIRC S520 is the standard for mold clean up. These standards can be purchased from the IICRC S500 website.
If you suspect a E.coli sewage leak or spill, preliminary E.coli testing can be performed to determine the presence of E.coli and the extent of the contamination.
After a E.coli sewage abatement (cleanup) and before the isolated areas are opened, E.coli clearance testing should be performed to confirm the area can safely be re-occupied.
E.coli, as well as Coliforms, are common environmental bacteria and may be found in soil, on hands, on equipment surfaces, in water and other environments. Coliform tests, as a group, are used as an overall indication of sanitation efficiency. Most Coliforms are not harmful (pathogenic), but if a Coliform test indicates their presence, it is considered to be an indication of unsanitary conditions.
There are no standards for Coliforms for most foods. Many product specifications are written with a zero or low tolerance for Coliforms. They can be tested for in water samples, swab samples, and air samples. Water samples, if the water comes from a chlorinated system, must be treated with sodium thiosulfate. Swab samples must use liquid culture swabs to preserve the sampled bacteria. Testing can be performed for presence/absence of these bacteria in the samples with or without enumeration.
Why should I test for sewage contamination?
- E.coli O157:H7 – this strain of E.coli is native to cows, not people. This is a specialized rare strain that causes serious infections.
- E.coli indicates a sewage spill. E.coli from other humans can cause illness.
We can provide sewage clearnce reports. On more complex projects, clean-up directions with preliminary testing can also be provided.
All the remediators and abatement contractorslisted provide sewage/bacterial cleanup.
American Air Testing does perform other bacterial air and swab sampling. Please give us a call with your special needs.