Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Donnell J. Hester


A study of the accumulative coliform population in a five-mile section of Cibolo Creek near Schertz, Texas.

The greatest danger associated with water is that it may recently have been contaminated by sewage or by human excrement. Therefore, the protection of public water supplies from intestinal contamination is a necessary obligation of the public health authorities. If there happens to be a break in the protective chain (adequate treatment, disinfection, and protection of water supply), a chance exposure to fecal contamination could trigger an explosive outbreak of disease within a community. Modern technology and more sophisticated bacteriological methods have made it possible to detect most pathogenic bacteria found in sewage and sewage effluents. However, it is not practicable to isolate these pathogens by any routine procedure. If and when pathogenic organisms are present in feces or sewage, they are always greatly outnumbered by the normal excremental organisms called coliforms. These coliforms are easily detected by a simple bacteriological examination. The presence of one coliform, Escherichia coli, in a sample of water is therefore taken as an index of intestinal pollution.