Implementing the US-EPA Wastewater ATP to Characterize a Rapid, Automated System for Monitoring E. Coli and Fecal Coliform Bacteria

Collaborative Efforts to Improve Environmental Monitoring - Session 2
Oral Presentation

Prepared by R. Brown1, E. Marcotte2, D. Wilton2, C. Fricker3, L. O'Donnell1
1 - Queen's University, School of Environmental Studies, 116 Barrie St., Kingston, ON, K7L3N6, Canada
2 - TECTA-PDS, 382 King Street East, Kingston, Ontario, K7K2Y2, Canada
3 - CRF Consulting, 118B Oxford Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7NG, United Kingdom

Contact Information: [email protected]; 613-533-2655


The US-EPA ATP protocol for wastewater and ambient water was used to develop a laboratory study to validate the performance of the rapid, automated E. coli (EC) and Fecal Coliform (FC) testing technology from TECTA-PDS. The TECTA system features an incubator/detector instrument and pre-packaged single-use test cartridges. It provides automatic detection without the need for a technician at the end of the test, and results are logged and transmitted by e-mail. The new test was performed alongside reference methods (Method 1603, mTEC for EC; Method 9222D, mFC, for FC) to compare the results. Samples from the TECTA-PDS technology were confirmed using a multi-step procedure developed using the guidelines of the ATP protocol. Samples were obtained from the secondary effluent of several different sewage treatment plants and were run in sets of 20 replicates to provide sufficient data for statistical comparisons. The results showed that the TECTA system provided results in agreement with the reference methods for both EC and FC parameters, both quantitatively (CFU/100 mL) and in terms of specificity and sensitivity. The samples for the new method were 10 mL secondary sewage diluted with sterile water to 100 mL in the test, which provided a range of 1850 to 19600 CFU/100 mL. The TECTA results were provided in 6.0 to 8.3 hours, compared with 24 h for the reference methods.