Water Quality Tests Various water quality tests are available to detect the number and types of microorganisms in waters and assist communities in keeping the microbial content of water supplies at a low level. These tests vary from the more sophisticated tests to the standard procedures that have been used for decades. Gene probe tests. Among the most sophisticated tests for water bacteriology are those that employ gene probes. Gene probes are fragments of DNA that seek out and combine with complementary DNA fragments. Often the test is designed to test for the presence of Escherichia coli in water. This Gram-negative rod, usually found in the human intestine, is used as an indicator organism. If it is present, then it is likely that the water has been contaminated with human feces. The feces may contain microbial pathogens. To use a gene probe test for
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