Login or Register

800.334.5551 Live Chat (offline)

Coliform Contamination Kit (with perishables)

Item # 187220P Online Only This product is not available in our print catalog. Exclusive This product is exclusive to Carolina Biological Supply. With Digital This kit includes 1-year access to digital resources including videos, digital teacher’s manuals, printable student guides, interactive lessons, editable assessment questions, and more.

Product Highlights

  • Students use a colorful method to quantify and verify coliforms in water and to differentiate Escherichia coli and other coliforms from noncoliform bacteria.
  • High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 10 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.
  • Kit includes perishable materials for immediate use.



In stock and available to ship.

Students investigate possible water source contamination by coliform bacteria. In the first investigation, students use sterile technique to collect water samples and plate them on selective media. The media allow students to differentiate between general coliform, Escherichia coli, and noncoliform bacteria colonies. After 24 to 48 hours, they analyze the results and compare their findings to local water quality standards for coliform bacteria.

In the second investigation, students analyze samples from a fictional location. Based on the results of their analysis, students infer potential sources of contamination and propose design solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of human activities linked to bacterial contamination of water. Students describe the importance of clean water to public health with the goal of answering the driving question, "How can we monitor a community’s water for coliform contamination?"

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, approximately 2 class periods. Pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, 3 to 4 class periods.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Cause and Effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the impact of coliform contamination of water supplies on public health and how it may disrupt the functioning of an ecosystem.
  • Collect empirical evidence of E. coli and total coliform bacteria counts using a common test of the safety of water for human use.
  • Gain practice in plating and culturing bacteria with sterile technique.
  • Use evidence to evaluate whether freshwater samples meet water quality standards of numbers of allowable coliforms.
  • Design and evaluate a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should feel comfortable with mathematical manipulation, including multiplication and division. They should have basic knowledge of the water cycle and the awareness that human activity and other factors affect the health of aquatic ecosystems.

For Educational Use Only. All orders are subject to Carolina’s Terms and Conditions

  • This item is only available from Carolina Biological Supply Company.
  • This item contains living or perishable material and ships via 2nd Day or Overnight delivery to arrive on a date you specify during Checkout. To ensure freshness during shipping, a Living Materials Fee may apply to orders containing these items.
  • This item is only available at Carolina.com.

Product Families Featuring This Item:


This item ships with living or perishable materials (all   items). Please select a delivery date during checkout.

Components Qty Included?
Escherichia coli B MicroKwik Culture®  1 Included
Enterobacter aerogenes MicroKwik Culture®  1 Included
Dehydrated Chromogenic Medium, 5.2 g  1 Included
Sterile Collection Tubes 30 Included
Sterile Bulb Pipets 60 Included
Sterile Petri Dishes, 60 x 15 mm 20 Included
Carolina Science Online® Resources (1-year subscription) 1 Included
Teacher's Manual with Reproducible Student Guide 1 Included
Permanent Markers 10 Needed, Not Included
Lab Thermometer 1 Needed, Not Included
Bleach, Ethanol, or Isopropanol 1 Needed, Not Included
Sterile Distilled Water 1 Needed, Not Included
Tubes for Dilution (if necessary) Needed, Not Included
Parafilm® 1 Needed, Not Included
Paper Towels Needed, Not Included
Erlenmeyer Flask, 250 mL 1 Needed, Not Included
Hot Plate 1 Needed, Not Included
Water Samples (collected by students) 10 Needed, Not Included
Small Resealable Plastic Bags (at least 7" W) 40 Needed, Not Included
Incubator (optional) 1 Needed, Not Included