I have been working on a science project were I have built a water filter.

To prove that it works I would need to test if there are bacteria in a sample which has been treated vs a sample that hasn't been treated.

I really just need to know if there are bacteria not how many. I looking to do this at home.

  • $\begingroup$ Put your filter on a nice and rich medium in a petri-dich and it will give you an idea of whether there are bacteria. Fitlering different amount of water will allow you to quantify. There are always potential bacteria you will not be able to grow on this specific medium and therefore it is pretty much impossible to really prove that something is completely sterile. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Mar 27 '16 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriological_water_analysis $\endgroup$ – CKM Apr 2 '16 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ There are many techniques. You should add some details to narrow down the question, which include- the available infrastructure, ease of experimentation, monetary budget, time required for analysis and other relevant information. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 6 '16 at 5:11

IF you are looking at a much faster technique but don't mind spending a bit and have some research equipment access, there are ways by which bacterial contamination can be detected by measuring ATP (Adenosine tri-phosphate). See this research publication. There are commercial kits available which you can use: Here is one of them by Thermofisher.

Again, this is only if you have access to the research equipments and funds.


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