Bacteria in drinking water can often go undetected. A bacterium is an organism that is part of a natural ecosystem and it even plays an important role in the human digestive system. Most forms of bacteria are benign and generally not harmful to humans. If you are consuming bacteria in your drinking water, you may have noticed upset stomach or diarrhea – but for the most part you are unharmed. There are several strains of bacteria that are problematic for drinking water, therefore must be tracked and treated to avoid serious health complications.
Coliform bacteria is often present in surface water supply sources or wash wells where decaying organic matter can leach into the water source. Escherichia coli, also known as “E. coli”, is a strain of Coliform bacteria that lives in the digestive tracts of mammals. In drinking water however, it is a sign of possible sewage contamination. Mutations of E. coli can emit a toxin that can cause sickness or even death. Because of this, even the most basic water testing protocols require a coliform test.
Giardia lamblia is a parasitic protozoa that can create severe discomfort in the digestive track. The condition caused by this nasty critter is sometimes referred to as “beaver fever” because the source of this parasite is often small water supplies that are not adequately treated for bacteria. Small lakes and duck ponds are often depositories for bird droppings which creates healthy colonies of Giardia lamblia.
Cryptosporidium, a bacterium that also is transmitted to humans through fecal contamination and migratory waterfowl, requires attention because it is resistant to chlorine. It’s not only surface water that is at risk of contamination – Cryptosporidium can also be found in wells located in the vicinity of ponds or rivers. Cryptosporidium is a tricky one because it isn’t removed through chlorination treatments. If we find it in a water sample test, we will recommend a UV light filter or a reverse osmosis water treatment system either at the point-of-entry or point-of-use.
Call us! If you are concerned about anything in your water, don’t hesitate to call us at Absolute Water System for a free consultation!