Bacteria and viruses usually enter the environment through means including leaking septic tanks and water runoff from feedlots. Those organisms generally enter water supplies through wells that are open at the surface or those that do not have casings or caps that are water tight. Both city water supplies and private wells can become contaminated.
Coliform bacteria are present in all humans and animals digestive tracts. While not all coliform bacteria are bad, there are some bacteria in that classification that can cause serious illnesses including intestinal infections and cholera. E. coli, the bacteria known for causing food poisoning, is also a type of bacteria that may be present in drinking water. E. coli does not live long in water and its presence is usually an indication that other harmful bacteria is present. People can and do become infected with E. coli through their water supply.
Harmful Viruses and Protozoa
Viruses are organisms that infect people with diseases including polio, encephalitis, gastroenteritis, infectious hepatitis and influenza. These organisms are inactive until they are ingested into a living host where they multiply and cause illness. Viruses leave the body through fecal matter that in turn contaminates water.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of infection. Bacterial infections generally cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever. Virus symptoms include tiredness, fever, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches and cramps. Chronic infections can occur when an individual continues to drink contaminated water. Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, weight loss and even death in the young and the elderly.
According to the Centers for Disease control, millions of people are sickened from microorganisms in their drinking water every year. While bottled water is a feasible alternative, it may contain harmful BPA chemicals and other bacteria. The best way to ensure your drinking water is safe is to obtain a home drinking water system.
The only means of detecting water contamination is through testing. Please complete the form below if you would like a free home water analysis and we will contact you to schedule an appointment.