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Shellfish Clinical Branch

Shellfish and Shellfish Growing Waters Section

The laboratory provides support to the ADPH Seafood Branch in the testing of shellfish waters and meats in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

Growing area waters are tested for fecal coliform using the Most Probable Number (MPN) method. Meats are analyzed for fecal coliform, and Escherichia coli (E. coli) using the MPN method and the aerobic plate count for total bacterial quality. Shellfish growing waters and meats are tested for Vibrio vulnificus periodically.

BEACH Testing Section

Alabama beaches that fall under the Clean Water Act BEACH program are tested for enterococci. The test method is Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1600. Visit the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for more about this program the current beach conditions.

Environmental Waters Section

The Mobile Laboratory supports public health studies on surface water by testing for fecal coliforms. Escherichia coli (E. coli), and enterococci along with combinations of these indicators of pollution. Arrangements for this testing service may be made by health department environmentalists several days in advance of the need. Visit Environmental Water Samples Collection Protocol for more information.

Phytoplankton Section

The Mobile Laboratory supports the ADPH Seafood Branch in phytoplankton monitoring of shellfish growing waters for the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, as well as other county and state agencies in the investigation of harmful algal events in Alabama marine and estuarine waters. The laboratory uses microscopy to identify dinoflagellates, many diatoms, flagellates, and some cyanobacteria.

Phytoplankton Sampling Protocol

Page last updated: May 13, 2021