A gas chromatographic procedure which shows promise as a presumptive test for coliform bacteria in water is described. Total coliform bacteria concentrations were determined from the incubation times at 37 C required for ethanol to be produced. Fecal coliform densities were determined in a similar manner at 44.5 C. The culture medium was filter sterilized M-9 salts supplemented with 1% lactose, 0.1% Casamino Acids, and 0.1% yeast extract. Best results were obtained when the initial total coliform concentrations were 5 per ml or higher and when fecal coliform concentrations were 50 per ml or higher. Minimum detection times at these concentrations were 9 and 12 h, respectively.