What are coliform?

Coliform bacteria are “indicator organisms” used in water microbiological analysis. Coliform is a group of bacteria readily found in soil, decaying vegetation, animal feces, and untreated surface water. They are not normally present in deep groundwater or treated surface water. These indicator organisms may be accompanied by pathogens. Coliform bacteria do not normally cause disease in healthy individuals, however, pregnant women, the elderly or persons with compromised immune systems are considered to be at risk. Drinking water found to contain coliform bacteria is considered contaminated and unsafe, and should not be consumed. We recommend that a well or spring source be sampled for total and fecal coliform at least once a year during the rainy, winter season. 

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1. What is needed to install a water well in Nevada County?
2. I’m a certified well driller, can I apply online?
3. Is testing required for my new well?
4. What are coliform?
5. Are there setbacks for wells?
6. Does NCEHD monitor groundwater levels or water well use for private wells?
7. Can NCEHD limit the amount of water extracted from private wells?