Page Banner

Florida DEP Laboratory

Bench Biology

Bacteriological Analyses

The Bench Biology workgroup conducts bacteriological tests for enterococci, Escherichia coli, fecal coliforms and total coliforms. These bacteria are commonly found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. Their presence in water samples can indicate the potential presence of fecal pollution and enteric pathogens.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)

Molecular Biology

The Biology Program's Molecular section uses laboratory analyses to identify fecal contamination sources in Florida’s waterbodies. Fecal bacteria are found in human and animal wastes but are also found naturally in soil, sediment, water, periphyton, and biofilms. The exact composition of bacteria differs between source. Standard culture-based methods cannot discriminate enteric (from the gut of a host animal) from environmental (free living bacteria not associated with fecal waste or elevated health risks) bacteria.


The Biology Program's Taxonomy staff performs species-level taxonomic analyses of benthic macroinvertebrate and algal samples, and some are experienced field samplers that assist in department program sampling efforts. Studies combining benthic macroinvertebrate and algal community sampling provide a valuable assessment of the overall health of aquatic systems.


Some content on this site is saved in an alternative format. The following icons link to free Reader/Viewer software:
PDF: | Word: | Excel: