Microbial monitoring with serial dilution culture media

LifeCheck Media (also referred to as culture media, bug bottles or nutrient broths) is a microbial testing technology based upon growing bacteria. These tests work by adding a volume of liquid sample to a vial with a food source that allows specific microbes to grow (ie. SRB). Using step wise dilution, the first bottle in the dilution series contains the most microbes. The second bottle, depending upon volume of sample transferred, contains fewer microbes. And so on. The vials must incubate for 3-4 weeks before the results can be interpreted, which involves a visual assessment of how many bottles turned cloudy or changed color (depending on the test). In general, the recipe of the media used determines the numbers and types of microbes you will get.
LifeCheck Media includes APB and SRB serial dilution bottles. The APB Bottles detect heterotrophs and acid producers. The SRB bottles provide approximate quantification of facultative SRB. Produced in accordance with NACE Standard TM0194-2014, our formulas do not include sulfite based oxygen scavengers. Utilizing anaerobic chambers, our serial dilution bottles are made under strict conditions. We pay attention to all quality control measures (redox potential, total dissolved solids concentration and pH.)
For your convenience, mixed media flats are available to be combined into a single flat of alternating rows. If specific parameters are required, including non-standard carbon sources, source of reducing power or gas composition, let our team know. OSP will work with you to create a unique formulation that more closely resembles the microcosm of interest.

Water Sample TDS (ppm)

SRB Bottles: serial dilution vials of Modified Postgate’s B (MPB) media
APB Bottles: serial dilution vials of Phenol Red Dextrose (PRD) media

Type of Bacteria DetectedTDS Lower LimitTDS Upper LimitDescription
Sulfate Reducing Bacteria Detection (SRB)<5,0009,000White Cap
9,00025,000Green Cap
25,00045,000Silver Cap
45,00065,000Blue Cap
65,00085,000Yellow Cap
85,000120,000Gold Cap
120,000170,000Red Cap
170,000220,000Black Cap
Acid Producing and General Heterotrophic Bacteria Detection (APB & GHB)5,0009,000White Cap
9,00025,000Green Cap
25,00045,000Silver Cap
45,00065,000Blue Cap
65,00085,000Yellow Cap
85,000120,000Gold Cap
120,000170,000Red Cap
170,000220,000Black Cap

Understand the microbial load within minutes with ATP Test Kits

Bug bottles (serial dilution media or culture media) tell you how many of a certain type of microbe (SRB) consumed the food source present. What they don’t tell you is how many are capable of consuming that food source but didn’t under the specific testing conditions. If you only test for SRB using bug bottles and subsequently design your biocide programs based on these numbers, there is a risk of drastically underestimating the microbial load, ultimately setting up the treatment program to fail.

LifeCheck ATP Test Kits can be used to identify how many living microbes are present in your sample. This is important when considering biocide programs as they are non-selective, meaning they don’t only kill the bad guys – they kill ‘em all. Because ATP quantifies all the living microbes in a sample, not just the bad guys, ATP testing can be used to:

  • evaluate biocide programs
  • screen source waters
  • design effective treatment programs

Looking for more information about LifeCheck Media?

Be in touch