Escherichia coli (E. coli) as an Indicator of Fecal Contamination in Groundwater: A Review

Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Escherichia coli or E. coli bacteria is related with the coliform group and is a more accurate fecal contamination indicator than other coliform bacteria; its existence indicates the potential presence of harmful bacteria causing diseases, and also indicates the extent and nature of the pollutants. E. coli bacteria can live in water for 4–12 weeks and currently serve as an indicator bacteria of fecal contamination in drinking water, due to the accessibility of simple, inexpensive, fast, sensitive, and precise detection techniques. According to the laboratory experiment based techniques, 24–48 hours are required for the bacterial concentration to be reported. Continuous monitoring of water quality is required. Techniques are not yet available to classify many pathogenic bacterial strains, and it sometimes takes days to weeks to achieve the results. To overcome these challenges, cost-effective and time-consuming techniques are needed to detect, count, and identify specific bacterial strains. Public health depends on online water quality monitoring, which is dependent mainly on analyzing fecal indicator bacteria, and health safety requires an indicator of fecal contamination so that it is not necessary to examine drinking water to overcome waterborne disease-related problems. This paper will brief the classification, sources, survival of E. coli bacteria, and their correlation with groundwater water quality parameters.


Escherichia coli E. coli Indicator E. coli bacteria Water Bacteriological analysis FCB Classification 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringBITS PilaniPilaniIndia

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