New E. Coli Drinking Water Standard Proposed by EPA

  • Posted by Jessica Lee Reece (

The U.S. EPA has announced that it will switch its indicator standard for fecal contamination of public water systems from fecal coliform to e. coli.

In a proposed rule entitled the “National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule,” EPA proposes to establish a maximum contaminant level of zero e. coli bacteria in drinking water.  EPA states that e. coli is a “more restricted group of coliform bacteria that almost always originate in the human or animal gut” and therefore is a better indicator of fecal contamination than fecal coliform.

Drinking water systems will switch to the new standard according to schedules specific to each system.

For more information, please contact Stephen E. O’Day (

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