The Kingdom of Bahrain has an annual rainfall of about 78 mm with limited surface water resources and poor underground recharge. The rapid increase in urbanization, during the last 20 years, has increased the demands for additional water supplies. Recycling of such limited resources would also necessitate monitoring effluents coming off wastewater treatment plants. The monitoring process requires continuous and laborious work by dedicated water laboratories to verify water supply safety. Herein, the total number of coliforms in two public swimming areas/beaches (Zallaq and Hidd) were evaluated, and the results were compared to those from effluents of the main sewage treatment plant in Bahrain (Tubli Water Pollution Control Centre, WPCC). The results indicated a high Most Probable Number (MPN) for Tubli (MPN annual average value of 504 CFU/100 mL) compared to the other two sites Hidd (102 CFU/100 mL) and Zallaq (47 CFU/100 mL). The number of fecal coliforms was estimated using both biochemical and molecular approaches. According to estimates by EMB cultures and PCR among the total coliforms, E. coli (fecal indicator) constituted 37.3% for Tubli WPCC effluents, and less than 30% for the two public swimming areas in Hidd and Zallaq. © 2018 Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences.