Guide to Environmental Microbiology at Lozier - Water and Food Analysis
Lozier is certified by the New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program for potable and non-potable waters. Including: total and fecal Coliform (E.coli) organisms, heterotrophic plate count, Enterococci, Iron Bacteria. Qualitative and quantitative methods are available for both total and fecal Coliform. We accept all samples for house closings which include lead, nitrate, and nitrite.
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Potable Water Sources: Municipal Wells, Tap Water/City Water/Drinking Water (i.e. bottled or ice), RO Water, Dialysis/Dialysate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to individual water systems, such as privately owned wells. Individual water system owners are responsible for making sure that their water is safe to drink. Private wells should be checked every year for mechanical problems, cleanliness, and the presence of coliform bacteria, nitrates, and any other contaminants of local concern (i.e. radon gas).
Total coliform/E. coli: Test for potable water sources; most commonly homeowners that have a well. E. coli O157:H7 is most commonly found on a small number of cattle farms where the bacteria can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Millions of germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. E. coli O157:H7 may be found in water sources, such as private wells, that have been contaminated with feces from infected humans or animals. Waste can enter the water through different ways, including sewage overflows, sewage systems that are not working properly, polluted storm water runoff, and agricultural runoff. Wells may be more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time (CDC Water Related Heath Data 2002).
Nitrate/Nitrite: Nitrate can occur naturally in surface and groundwater at a level that does not generally cause health problems. High levels of nitrate in well water often result from improper well construction, well location, overuse of chemical fertilizers, or improper disposal of human and animal waste. Sources of nitrate that can enter your well include fertilizers, septic systems, animal feedlots, industrial waste, and food processing waste. Wells may be more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time (CDC Water Related Heath Data 2002).
Heterotrophic Plate Count: Dialysis samples, Ice samples, Drinking/Bottled Water Samples
High HPC counts indicate ideal conditions for bacterial regrowth and should be corrected. Bacterial regrowth can lead to pipe corrosion, encourage slime growth, increase the need for disinfectants, cause foul-tasting water, and harbor secondary respiratory pathogens (ex. Legionella). Thus, HPC can be used as a marker for the underlying causes of some aesthetic problems (WHO, 2002).
1. US EPA (1989) 40 CFR Parts 141 and 142 Drinking Water; National Primary Drinking Water Rules and Regulations; filtration, disinfection; turbidity, Giardia lamblia, viruses, Legionella, and heterotrophic bacteria; final rule. US Environmental Protection Agency. Fed. Regist. 54(124), 27486–27541.
2. US EPA (2001) National Primary Drinking Water Standards. EPA 816-F-01-007, March, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (www.epa.gov/safewater).
Non-Potable Sources and Analyses: Ponds/Lakes/Rivers, Irrigation Water (Agricultural Wastewater), Cooling Towers, Reclaimed/Recycled Water, Quarry Water Used for Landscape Irrigation, Class A Recycled Water From a WWTP
E. coli Enumeration: Quantitative evaluation of E. coli concentrations in irrigation water.
Fecal coliform: Quantitative evaluation of fecal (feces) contamination in wastewater effluent/sump pumps/groundwater/sludge and soils.
Legionella: Quantitative analysis of Legionella pneumophilia in cooling towers. Click here for more information on Legionella testing at Lozier!
“Legionella is a bacterium that can cause a potentially fatal disease, Legionnaires’ disease (legionellosis). Legionella are commonly found in warm water containing mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, air washers, humidifiers, misters, hot water heaters, spas, fountains, car wash facilities and plumbing fixtures. Legionella infect people when they inhale legionella-containing aerosols from these sources. Through legionella water testing labs, companies and corporations are able to accurately and routinely check for these bacteria in order to prevent this disease.”
Lozier Environmental Consulting, Inc. provides food analysis for companies with QA/QC monitoring programs. Food analysis includes Total Coliform/MPN, E.coli/MPN, Standard Plate Count, Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococci, pH and Yeast and Mold. Methodology for food analysis is referenced from the Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual (FDABAM). Lozier Environmental is now ISO 17025 CERTIFIED.
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Salmonella: Salmonella is a major water- and food-borne pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious gastroenteritis. It is the second most dominant bacterial cause of food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, which are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, are important causes of fever, particularly in countries like India. Enteric fevers are caused by Salmonella typhi and S. paratyphi A and B. Typhoid is characterized by fever, headache, body ache, muscle cramps, and diarrhea.
1. Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011
Listeria: Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.
Reference: CDC Listeria Prevention 2019
E. coli: E. coli is a food-borne bacterium that can be a major cause of food poisoning, resulting in illness and even death in the most severe cases. It can be found in contaminated food such as meat, dairy, raw fruit and vegetable products, contaminated water, on live animals and within their environment, and also in the faeces of infected people. Accurate microbiological testing for organisms such as E.coli is important to validate and monitor processes, verify Critical Control Points (CCPs) and provide for due diligence.
1. Ongoing Multistate Outbreak of Escherichia Coli serotype O157:H7 Infections Associated With Consumption of Fresh Spinach. CDC: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2006.
Lozier's expert mycologists' can provide mold identification from the following media:
Surface Samples: Tape Lift, Bulk, Swab (culturable)
Air Samples: Non-Viable Air-O-Cell and BioSis and Viable (culturable).