Bacteria in Water: E. coli and Coliform Testing in Vermont

The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory (VDHL) can perform total coliform/E.coli bacterial testing on any public water supply or private well. This test is commonly used to evaluate both drinking water quality and safety. The total coliform /E.coli test is used to simultaneously detect if any coliform bacteria and E.coli are present in your drinking sample.

  • The term coliform refers to a group of bacteria found in the soil and in the intestines of warm blooded animals, including humans. Although these bacteria may not be harmful themselves, their presence indicates that disease-causing agents may be present in the water.
  • The presence of E.coli in drinking water is serious because these bacteria are usually associated with sewage or animal waste.

The VDHL has the following test types available:

  • Kit A (public) or AA (municipal): presence/absence of coliform and E.coli
  • Kit NU: Counts coliform and E.coli in drinking water. This is used for disinfection or monitoring. (public or municipal)
  • For more information on kit types A, AA and NU visit our Forms & Ordering Information page.
  • To request a kit by mail, view/print out our order form and send in with form of payment.
  • Kits can also be purchased in person or over the phone; visit our Contact Us and Directions page for more information.

Additional Resources

More information from the Health Department about drinking water contaminants

Information on well disinfection

For a list of laboratories certified for drinking water analysis visit Drinking Water Laboratory Certification