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A membrane filter method was developed and evaluated for the quantitative recovery of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus from environmental waters. The procedure utilized a mineral medium, with sodium acetate and potassium nitrate as the carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Formic acid was included to enhance the recovery of A. calcoaceticus and to inhibit background growth. The medium was incubated for 46 h at 30°C, after which fermentation and cytochrome oxidase tests were performed on the colonies as they appeared on the membrane. Background microbial growth decreased on the average by 1.77 orders of magnitude. An essentially quantitative recovery relative to that on nutrient agar spread plates was obtained from freshly prepared suspensions of eight A. calcoaceticus strains in filter-sterilized pond water and from suspensions of five of the strains held for up to 96 h in filter-sterilized pond water at 15 and 22°C. Markedly reduced relative recoveries were obtained with the three remaining strains. However, these three strains, in contrast to the first five, not only did not grow, but also decreased in number in the eutrophic, filter-sterilized pond water. The confirmation rate of presumptive A. calcoaceticus colonies was 95%, whereas 8% of the presumptively negative colonies were A. calcoaceticus. The precision of the method did not exceed that expected from random error alone. Densities of A. calcoaceticus in freshwaters ranged from <1 to 7.9 × 104 organisms per 100 ml and were about 106 organisms per 100 ml in raw sewage.