Yes, but no. In other words, this quote is not probably not true in the ways you'd think. Bacteria can survive on practically nothing for long periods of time, but whether you call that life is subjective.
Nitrogen is necessary for all the co-enzymes and proteins to sustain life. In order to get energy, if E coli. needs to metabolize nitrogen to waste at all, all the bacteria would eventually all die out. The same feat for human beings would be to add a little sugar into sewage and surviving on it. Nobody would die right away, but its hard to call that living maybe.
Unless a medium is exchanged, E coli in a laboratory culture will start a massive die off. When the E coli culture becomes terminal in this way, a portion of the bacteria go into stationary phases where the bacteria can survive for very long times - for months or possibly years. So some of the bacteria would survive, but they would be dormant. You might not call this survival, but tens of thousands of bacteria are still alive and can generate colonies if transferred to fresh media.
Laboratory cultures and media are of course artificial conditions which don't reflect the environment which bacteria are adapted. In their life cycle, they typically have other sorts of behavior and experience low nutrient conditions often enough. Bacteria are also different in that a 99.99% die off can be considered a typical event in some cases.