LeChevallier, M.W., N.E. Shaw, L.A. Kaplan, and T.L. Bott. 1993. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 59:1526–1531.
A rapid method for measurement of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) is proposed. The time needed to perform the assay is reduced by increasing the incubation temperature and increasing the inoculum density. The ATP luciferin-luciferase method quickly enumerates the test organisms without the need for plate count media or dilution bottles. There was no significant difference between AOC values determined with strain P17 for the ATP and plate count procedures. For strain NOX, the plate count procedure underestimated bacterial levels in some samples. Comparison of AOC values obtained by the Belleville laboratory (by the ATP technique) and the Stroud Water Research Center (by plate counts) showed that values were significantly correlated and not significantly different. The study concludes that the rapid AOC method can quickly determine the bacterial growth potential of water within 2 to 4 days.