Science with Dr. Tom
These pictures show the test results for total coliform bacteria in the Seahurst Park water samples of our Water Quality Class on Nov. 6, 2016.
The results for all water samples were positive.
What does this mean? Well, if the tests had been negative, we wouldn’t do anything. However, because the tests were positive, we might choose to do further testing to get a better idea of what the coliform bacteria are and where they come from.
Coliforms are bacteria that are present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also naturally found in plant and soil material. Most coliform bacteria do not cause disease. However, some rare strains of E. coli, particularly the strain 0157:H7, can cause serious illness. We don’t have enough information yet to determine if the coliform bacteria in our samples are from human/animal waste or naturally occurring soil coliform bacteria – more testing would have to be done.
It’s really common in science for one result to lead to more questions. That’s what great about science. Scientists are detectives who try to get answers to their questions. It’s fun because you can always ask “why” after every test or result!
Thanks to the kids and the adults in the class for their interest in water quality and for asking those “why” questions. Please keep asking “why”!