Coli-Lab™ Testing Educational Kit


coli lab ecoli testing educational kit logo


Classroom Testing for E.coli and Coliforms


Timeline: 150 Minutes

About the Coli-LabTM: The Coli-LabTM is a 96 well microplate kit which provides a rapid, convenient and accurate test for qualitative and quantitative measurement of the total Coliforms and E.coli bacteria.

Typical results for the Coli-Lab™. The Coliform bacteria (including E. Coli) will turn blue or blue-green (see Figure 1). These can then be counted and converted to numbers of bacteria per 100 mL of water sample. If an ultraviolet light is available (black light), the number of wells containing E. Coli can also be counted, as these fluoresce under ultraviolet light (see Figure 2).

 12 positive wells coliforms MPN 33Figure 1

 7 positive wells for E coli MPN 19Figure 2

Reaction:  Bacterial indicators are counted to assess the presence and level of fecal contamination and thus determine the potential for disease. Total Coliforms and Escherichia coli (E.coli) are widely used in regulatory monitoring of natural waters.  The Coli-LabTM utilizes proven nutrient indicators X-Gal and MUG to detect viable Coliforms and E.coli bacteria as well as selective media to stimulate the growth and indicators for chromogenic and fluorogenic enzymes. The substrates react with the enzymes produced by the Coliforms (Beta-D-galactosidase) and the E.coli (Beta-D-glucoronidase) resulting in a blue/green formation of colour, and a fluorescence emission by the Coliforms and E.coli respectively. The presence of any strain of E.coli in waters is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal water contamination. As with coliforms, the presence of any strain of E.coli indicates other harmful strains or other organisms could be present and could pose a threat to human health. Coliform positive test results in a distinctive blue colour, which enables analysis of brownish, turbid or rust-filled water. 




Coli Lab


Download the Handout which includes Educator Resources, Student Handout, Preparation, and Lab Procedure

Learning Goals (see About Us for Details):  LG 1, LG 2, LG 3, LG 4, LG 7, and LG 9

Coli-Lab™ Information for the Educator

The Coli-LabTM is offered in a format that will meet the needs of most class sizes and schedules.  
Each kit contains sufficient components for one lab experiment. This kit is designed and
recommended to work in groups of two to three.  We also provide resources to complete the
lab experiment along with a lab booklet. Each booklet contains information on concepts, preparation,
the procedure, observing and recording results, further analysis, and a student lab report for
assessment and evaluation. EBPI can supply further supplies and equipment as needed.
See our supplies and equipment section for further information.

If you have further inquiries or concerns, please contact us.