Standard Active Last Updated: Apr 23, 2019
ASTM D5259-19

Standard Test Method for Isolation and Enumeration of Enterococci from Water by the Membrane Filter Procedure

Standard Test Method for Isolation and Enumeration of Enterococci from Water by the Membrane Filter Procedure
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Significance and Use

5.1 The enterococci are indicators of the bacteriological quality for potable water, shellfish growing waters, ambient, and recreational waters. A direct relationship between swimming, associated gastroenteritis, and enterococci has been established through epidemiological studies and marine and fresh water bathing beaches. These studies have led to the development of criteria that can be used to establish bathing water standards based on established health-water quality relationships.

5.2 Since small or large volumes of water or dilutions thereof, can be analyzed by the membrane filter technique, a wide range of levels of enterococci in water can be enumerated and detected.


1.1 This test method covers a membrane filter (MF) procedure for the detection and enumeration of the enterococci bacteria in water. The enterococci, which include Entero-coccus faecalis (E. faecalis), E. faecium, and their varieties are commonly found in the feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Although some strains are ubiquitous and not related to fecal pollution, enterococci in water are an indication of fecal pollution and the possible presence of enteric pathogens. These bacteria are found in water and wastewater in a wide range of densities. The detection limit is one colony forming unit (CFU)/volume filtered.

1.2 This test method has been used successfully with temperate fresh and marine ambient waters, and wastewaters. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure the validity of this test method for waters of untested types.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are included for information only and are not considered standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazard statements, see Section 9.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.24
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D5259-19
ICS Code: 13.060.70