Acid producing bacteria are capable of producing organic and inorganic acids which can significantly drop the pH beneath the biofilm into the acid range.  Under these conditions, an acid-driven form of corrosion can occur causing metals to dissolve and concrete structures to lose integrity. These acidic metabolic by-products are produced under very reductive (oxygen free) environments. The sulfate reducing bacteria are often found within this nutrient rich, oxygen free environment.

Telltale signs of acid producing bacteria corrosion include, but are not limited to, pitting   corrosion and pinhole leaks.

Types of water/sources that may be tested include: hot and cold water distribution systems, open and closed recirculating heating and cooling systems, water-based fire protection sprinkler systems, and water-based fracturing fluids in gas and oil industry.

Test Method

APB-BART™ Biological Activity Reaction Test for Acid Producing Bacteria. Manufacturer: Droycon Bioconcepts Inc. Saskatchewan, Canada

Turn Around Time 

10–12 days

Test Code


Sampling Instructions

Note: These bacteria and their affects are often associated with water in low flow areas. Sample collection will vary by source.  The test is semi-quantitative; therefore, once collected, the sample should be shipped to lab within 24 hours with cold pack. Generally, collect samples as follows:

  1. Complete SPL Chain of Custody form provided. 
  2. Use waterproof pen to label bottle with sample location, description, and date. 
  3. Samples for more than one MIC test maybe collected in single 250 ml collection bottle as long as there is  ≥30 ml for each type of test requested.
  • Cooling Tower and Non-potable Water
    1. Submerge open bottle just under the surface of water to obtain ≥30 ml of sample. Avoid sediment. 
    2. Close bottle and invert to mix the sodium thiosulfate neutralizer.
  • Potable Water
    1. Turn on water (hot or cold) and immediately fill bottle to ≥30ml.
    2. Close bottle and then invert to mix the sodium thiosulfate neutralizer.

Sample Transport 

  1. Deliver or ship samples the same day they are collected. The time from sample collection to analysis should not exceed 24 hours.
  2. Place bottles in box with insulated liner.
  3. Place completed Chain of Custody in plastic document holder and pack in box.
  4. Ship overnight Monday–Thursday only to: Special Pathogens Laboratory, 1401 Forbes Avenue, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Questions? Call SPL at 412-281-5335