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CPI International, a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based marketer and manufacturer of analytical and life science products, received the Environmental Protection Agency's approval, published in the February 13 Federal Register, for Colitag, CPI's breakthrough method for testing public drinking water under the Total Coliform Rule.
In making the announcement, David Hejl, President/CEO of CPI, disclosed that this is the culminating event in the company's seven-year effort to provide an added level of safety in testing public drinking water. Private laboratories and municipal and state governmental authorities responsible for water testing can now protect the public with confidence via this testing product.
Colitag was developed in the early '90s by Dr. George Chang, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. According to Dr. Chang, Colitag differs from earlier test methods approved by the EPA over the last ten years because it can identify E. coli that have been weakened but not killed by water treatments. "If the treatment isn't quite right, you end up with injured pathogens that still may be able to resuscitate in someone's body and cause critical sickness," states Chang. "Any time water treatment breaks down, you have a problem. We look for E. coli that escapes the sanitation process and survives." When advised that Colitag had received EPA approval, Dr. Chang responded.
Colitag will go mostly to public agencies testing for E. coli in water systems, which include everything from drinking water and wastewater systems to public pools and beaches. The Colitag product will also be utilized by food and beverage manufacturers.