Updated on January 24, 2024


Created on October 2, 2019

3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates

3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates are sample-ready media plates used to detect and quantify coliforms in drinking water samples.

Developed By
  1. 3M
Tested By
  • AOAC Research Institute
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Content Partners


Product Description

The 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates are sample-ready culture medium systems that can detect and measure coliform levels in water or beverages within 24 hours. This product is not documented for use in industries other than bottled water, which excludes testing of surface and municipal waters, or waters used in the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries. 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates are manufactured and distributed by 3M™, an American multinational conglomerate company.

This product comes in two presentations:  50 plates/box or 1000 plates/case.

The 50 plates/box are: 59.91 USD (Thomas Scientific Inc.), 85.00 USD (spreader included) (Nelson James).

The 1000 plates/case are: 902.41 USD (Thomas Scientific Inc.), 690.00 USD spreader included (Nelson James) and 989.90 USD (892,00 €)  (France VWR) Converted on August 16 2019

Target SDGs

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

3M™ Petri?lm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates can be purchased through 3M™ food safety U.S. authorized distributors.

Manufacturing/Building Method

3M™ Petri?lm™ Aqua Coliform Count Plates are mass produced by 3M™ , an American company based in Maplewood, Minnesota, USA. This product is manufactured at Brookings, SD, USA.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can purchase these products through 3M™ food safety U.S. authorized distributors.

Distributions to Date Status


Test types included


Equipment included

Freezer, incubator, standard colony counter or other illuminated magnifier

Tests per kit

50 tests per box or 1000 tests per case

Detection range


Processing time for one sample (hr)

24 hours

Additional materials required

Pipettes, 3M™ Petrifilm™ Spreader

Power required (yes/no)


Complete kit weight (kg)


Design Specifications

The 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count (AQCC) Plates comes in two presentations: 1000 plates/case or 50 plates/box. These sample-ready media plates contain Violet Red Bile (VRB) nutrients, a cold-water-soluble gelling agent, and an indicator dye (tetrazolium) which colors all colonies red. The top film traps the gases produced by the coliforms, indicating confirmed colonies. For more information see the Interpretation guide. For specific instructions on how to use the 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count (AQCC) Plates see research and standards. This product is composed of the following ingredients: adhesive, guar gum, polypropylene film, hinge tape, lactose, and pancreatic digest of gelatin.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Users are responsible for familiarizing themselves with product instructions and information. They can contact 3M™ product support for specific product and application questions.

Replacement Components

Single use plates


3M™ Petrifilm™ Aqua Coliform Count (AQCC) Plates must be stored at temperatures less than or equal to 8ºC and have a shelf life of 18 months from date of manufacture. Expiration and lot number are indicated on each package.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates were designed to be ready to use, to reduce or eliminate time-consuming agar prep, to provide consistent, reliable results, and to have a compact size using less storage/incubator space. The system is also designed to be more sustainable in comparison to traditional agar methods, by using less energy and water, and produce less waste therefore reducing the products carbon footprint.

Vetted Performance Status



This product is considered to be an article which does not release or otherwise result in exposure to a hazardous chemical under normal use conditions. This product is exempt from hazard classification according to OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Complementary Technical Systems

This product requires a 3M™ Petrifilm™ Spreader to extend the inoculum over uniform area. A standard colony counter or other illuminated magnifier is required to count colonies.

Academic Research and References

“Supporting Food Safety in the United States and Canada,” https://www.neogen.com. Available: https://www.neogen.com/usac/?utm_medium=redirect&utm_source=vanity-url&utm_campaign=www.3m.com/3M/en_US/food-safety-us/support/buy-food-safety/ 

“Microbiological Media, Gram Staining Kits,” Thomassci.com. Available: https://www.thomassci.com/nav/cat1/media/cat2/media_microbiologicalmedia/0

“Petrifilm Plates – Prepared Media – Culture Media – Microbiological Testing – Lab Supplies & Accessories – Products,” Nelsonjameson.com. Available: https://nelsonjameson.com/products/lab-supplies-accessories/microbiological-testing/culture-media/prepared-media/petrifilm-plates.html

“Shopping Basket,” Vwr.com. Available: https://fr.vwr.com/store/cart/cart.jsp?costSavingsDone=true&costSavingsDone=true&_requestid=161168#

“Home,” Hygiena. Available: https://www.hygiena.com/home

“Colifast Field Kit,” – Rapid, Automated and Remote Microbial Testing for Water Safety, 20-Mar-2015. Available: https://www.colifast.no/products/colifast-field-kit-bacterial-monitor/

Goal 6. (n.d.). Sdgs.un.org. Available: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6

“All 3M Products,” Www.3m.com. Available: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/

“Help Center,” Www.3m.com. Available: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/help-center/ 

“3M™ Petrifilm™Aqua Coliform Count Plates” Available: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/907312O/3m-petrifilm-aqua-coliform-count-plate-product-information-sheet.pdf

Compliance with regulations

This product is in compliance with the ISO 9001:2008. And has the AOAC® Performance Tested Methods? (PTM) Certificate #091101 for bottled water.

Evaluation methods


Other Information

This plate has been awarded AOAC® Performance Tested Methods? (PTM) Certificate #091101 for bottled water.

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