Crucial to the success of directed evolution of enantioselective enzymes for use as catalysts in synthetic organic chemistry is the availability of high-throughput assays for determining the enantiopurity of thousands of samples. Although several such ee-assays are available, they entail time and effort, which means that pre-tests for activity have been developed to eliminate non-active mutants prior to ee-screening. Pre-selection systems may be even more efficient and simple to perform. In the present paper an efficient pre-selection test for assessing the activity of epoxide hydrolases has been developed. The bacterial (E. coli) growth on agar plates is shown to be directly related to the presence of active epoxide hydrolases which catalyze the detoxicating hydrolysis of the epoxide substrates. Visual inspection of agar plates is all that is necessary to identify positive (active) hits in large libraries of mutant epoxide hydrolases.