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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.

Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) participates in a national network of laboratories known as the Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN). This network is one of several laboratory networks established through Presidential directives to ensure that critical services are available to support response and recovery operations following a terrorist attack or other emergency of national significance. The Environmental Response Laboratory Network is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with support from the U.S.


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