Things we do in CIMA 14: Microbiological analysis

Microbiological analysis

From CIMA (Centro de Investigaciones Medioambientales del Atlántico, S.L.) (Atlantic Environmental Research Center), we want to show you what we do in and out our offices.


On this page you can find a series of small videos called "Things we do in CIMA", which will help us to explain what we do and how we do it. All this to approach the world of marine biology and oceanography.



- "Things we do in CIMA" #14: Microbiological analysis:

As you have seen in our flowmeter video, some of our services are closely linked to wastewater in general. Flow measurements, pollution levels or checking wastewater emissions legality are some of these services.


One of our tasks is collecting samples in different points of the sewage system to analyze several parameters. Some of which are our microbiological analysis, with which we can know tipped water quality.

Among other parameters, we usually measure health harmful bacteria presence and concentration, such as coliform and enterococcus.


Facilitating these measures we have a Quanti-Tray Bag that helps us to count coliform most probable number (MPN). We use the "Single dilution method", which is a specifically designed test for coliform bacteria MPN counting (indicators of faecal contamination) from water samples and it is applicable to all human consumption water types.

Colilert-18 technique. is based on the Defined Substrate Technology (DST) patented by IDEXX, which allows total coliforms and E. coli simultaneous detection. DST method uses indicator nutrients, that is reagents that cause color changes in water samples under study:


- Total coliform: these bacteria metabolize bacteria chromogenic substrate and cause a staining change from transparent to yellow.

- Escherichia coli: these bacteria also have the ability to metabolize substrates and, in addition, specifically metabolize a fluorogenic substrate, responsible for producing fluorescence.


Thanks to these cells with reagents we can see total coliform presence and, on the other hand, we can differentiate cells with E. Coli, which is illuminated under ultraviolet light. We also use the same type of cells, with other reagents, for intestinal enterococcus detection.


If concentrations exceed healthy limits, we warn responsible persons so that they act quickly.


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