Groundwater is water that accumulates underground. It can exist in spaces between loose particles of dirt and rock, or in cracks and crevices in rocks. Different types of rocks and dirt can contain different amounts of water. The saturation zone is the portion of the soil and rock that is saturated with water, while the unsaturated zone is the portion of the soil and rock that is not saturated. The top of the saturated zone is called the water table.
Escherichia coli, also referred to as E. coli, is a type of fecal coliform bacteria that is found in the intestines of healthy warm-blooded animals and humans. Most E. coli strains are harmless and serve a useful function in the body by stopping the growth of harmful bacteria species and by making necessary vitamins. However, some strains can be opportunistic pathogens, while others can cause gastrointestinal illness in healthy humans when ingested.