DRINKING WATER STANDARDS
Here are links to some of New Jersey's Drinking Water Standards.
Coliform bacteria standards are based on the presence or absence of coliforms in a 100 ml sample. The number of samples collected by a public water system is determined by the size of the population served. A system collecting at least 40 samples per month can have coliform in no more than 5% of the samples. A system collecting fewer than 40 samples per month can have no more than one coliform positive sample. Any number exceeding these amounts triggers an MCL exceedence.
The USEPA recommends that the Standard Plate Count not exceed 500 organisms per ml.
The NJ Department of Health and Senior Services regulates bottled drinking waters. Here are the NJ Bottled Drinking Water Standards. They are similar to but not identical to the NJDEP Public Water System standards.
For an excellent explanation of what the numbers mean here is Dr. Ted Shelton's Interpreting Drinking Water Quality Analysis: What do the numbers mean?