There are millions of microorganisms in our environment known as bacteria, that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They can be found in water, soil, animals, and even in the human body. Not all bacteria are harmful. Good bacteria help to keep us healthy and aid digestion. However, some types of bacteria can make you sick.
How do bacteria get in the drinking water?
Water collection sources such as lakes, rivers, and ponds are susceptible to bacteria living on the surface water. Runoff from storms, farms, and sewage leaks can contaminate the water with bacteria. Also, cracks in private wells and deteriorating water pipes can contain bacteria.
What types of harmful bacteria are found in water?
Several types of bacteria can make people sick after consuming drinking water that has been contaminated. The incubation period is generally 1 to 3 days.
Escherichia Coli (E. Coli)
Sewage leaks or storm runoff contaminated with animal or human waste can contain E. coli bacteria and infect the drinking water. It can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
Another type of bacteria that can contaminate wells, lakes, rivers, and other water collection sources when storm runoff, farm runoff, sewage overflows, or floodwaters contain animal or human waste. It can cause fever, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.
A common bacterium that can cause an infectious and contagious disease called shigellosis. The germ is carried into the water system through storm or farm runoff, flooding, or sewer system problems. It thrives in shallow water in wells, lakes, and other open water collection sources.
A harmful bacteria commonly found in wells, and other water sources are responsible for most illnesses from drinking water. The bacteria can get in the water through storm runoff and sewage leaks containing fecal matter. It can cause stomach pain, cramping, and diarrhea.
Should I have my water tested for bacteria?
Homeowners should have a water test for bacteria, especially if any household members have recently had stomach or gastrointestinal issues. Although public water systems are required to disinfect the water supply, bacteria can still contaminate the drinking water through rusting or corroded water pipes. Some bacteria are resistant to disinfection and may be present in your water. Owners of private wells should also have a water test to determine if bacteria are present.
How to get rid of bacteria in water
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