Surface waters receiving pulp mill effluents were examined for the presence of total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Salmonella species. Fecal coliforms were biochemically identified as belonging to the Escherichia, Klebsiella or Enterobacter genera. Sixty percent of the isolates were identified as Klebsiella, 34% were found to be Escherichia coli and the remaining 6% were primarily Enterobacter species. The high densities of fecal coliforms, a majority of which were Klebsiella species in the almost complete absence of Salmonella was attributed to multiplication in the carbohydrate rich aquatic environment. The findings show a need for a more specific indicator of the wastes of warm-blooded animals.