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Globally, contamination of water bodies by microbial pathogens is a significant public health concern. Fecal indicator bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) typically identify the deterioration of water bodies. In order to determine water quality, monitoring E. coli concentrations is important. During collection, storage, and transportation of water samples, holding time can have a significant impact on the density of indicator pathogens. Although many studies have reported on the effects of holding time exceedances on water quality, there is a lack of comprehensive review of these studies. The objective of this work is to provide a complete review on the effects of holding time exceedances on water quality. The results of this study suggest that most E. coli samples can be analyzed beyond 8 hr and up to 48 hr after sample collection while still generating comparable data if the samples are stored below 10°C.