A goal of microbiological research has been the development of methods for the detection and enumeration of pathogenic bacterial species in solid waste and waste effluents. Attempts to isolate such organisms from solid waste on a routine basis have not been fruitful due to low initial numbers and/or to relatively short periods of survival. Pathogenic microorganisms in waste are constantly subjected to such debilitating environmental factors as chemical additives, drying, freezing, heat, and pH extremes. These factors often affect cultivation of these organisms in media originally designed for diagnostic purposes. For these reasons attention was directed primarily toward the development of methods for the detection and enumeration of a group of organisms of sanitary and health significance.