Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Total Bacteria Count (TBC)

Last updated: October 17, 2019

What Does Total Bacteria Count (TBC) Mean?

The total bacteria count (TBC) of a substance is a quantitative estimate of the number of microorganisms present in a sample. This measurement is represented by the number of colony-forming bacterial units (CFU) per gram (or milliliter) in the sample.

Total bacteria count is one of the key influencers in the formation of microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). The higher the bacterial count, the greater the probability of the occurrence of MIC.

Total bacteria count is also known as the total viable count (TVC).


Corrosionpedia Explains Total Bacteria Count (TBC)

While wastewater naturally consists of high concentrations of microorganisms, bacteria can also exist in almost all potable water systems. As these organisms grow, they attach themselves to wetted surfaces to form thin, slimy films, also known as biofilms.

The higher the total bacteria count in the water or wastewater, the higher the number of bacteria in the fluid, and the thicker the amassed biofilm. The bacteria in the biofilm feed on nutrients in the water or wastewater to produce corrosive gases that can attack metallic surfaces.

By measuring the total bacterial count in fluids, various methods can be employed to control the population of bacteria and, hence, mitigate the effects of MIC.



Total Viable Count

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