Bacteria, Virus and Microorganisms in Water.
Did you know you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than serious illness or death from a Virus or Bacteria in Water?
But every year you have a 6% chance that bacteria in water could make you feel “funny”.
Symptoms of Virus and bacteria in water include headache, nausea, and diarrhea.
Are there “Hidden Bugs” in Your Water?
Usually only the most severe cases (i.e., hospitalization, death, or mass exposure) get reported in the news.
If most cases go unreported, how many people are actually affected?
Every year 19.5 million people in the United States get sick from microorganisms in water according to a 2008 study.
These bugs can be found in both city water supplies and private well water.
How can a City have Bacteria in Water?
From 2005-2006, 20% of US outbreaks of virus and bacteria in water were caused by old, dirty pipes.
In the US, the average life expectancy of a water main ranges from 75-120 years. Problem is, they don’t usually get replaced until they’re 200 years old.
Old pipes have problems:
Water Main Break
Water Main Breaks and Leaks
The AWWA reports that 10% of city water never makes it to your house.
This water is lost through leaks in the water system.
Water main breaks and leaks happen in between the water treatment plant and your home. This leaves your drinking unprotected water.
Every time a pipe breaks, or leaks, it acts as a siphon. Dirt surrounding the pipe is vacuumed into the water supply.
There are 300,000 water main breaks each year (1 water main break every 2 minutes) in the United States.
Biofilm in the Distribution System
Old pipes with stagnant water become lined with Biofilm.
Biofilm acts as a nutrient-rich source for bacteria like H. Pylori.
Even worse, it can act as a shield that prevents chlorine from killing the bugs.
Additional Risks for Well Water
Private well water has the same risks as city water – plus two more.
Your well head sits outside in your yard. It may become damaged if a lawnmower or construction vehicle accidentally drives into it. This impact can damage the connection to the pitiless adaptor down in the well pit.
Once the seal in the well is damaged, surface water runoff can seep down into your well. You end up drinking the fertilizer and dirt that was on your lawn.
City water is disinfected with Chlorine. Chlorine isn’t 100% effective against all bacteria in water, but it’s a start.
30% of waterborne disease comes from untreated water. Untreated well water has no protection.
Bacteria, Virus, and Cysts
In 2000, the EPA Ground Water Rule increased regulation of municipal water supplies. There are three main categories of waterborne pathogens that are regulated.
Bacteria in Water
Bacteria in Drinking Water
Many people are familiar with E. coli from all the food recalls. It comes from human or animal waste.
Mycobacteria are chlorine-resistant bacteria that are of great concern in hospital outbreaks among immunocom promised individuals. Even Legionella has been detected.
Virus in Drinking Water
In 2003 and 2004, 6 studies measured virus in water supplies. Between 8-42% of samples tested positive for human enteric virus including Anti virus, Rotavirus, Influenza, and Hepatitis A.
Cyst in Water
Cysts in Drinking Water
Protozoan parasites like Cryptosporidium and Giardia have been found in both surfaces (river and lake water) in addition to aquifers (well water). Cryptosporidium became famous when it made 240,000 Milwaukee residents sick.
Cysts are particularly troublesome as they are highly chlorine-resistant.
Bacteria Water Filters and Microbe Protection
Water Softeners and most Drinking Water Systems are not effective against bacteria or virus in water. In fact, most manuals for those products state they are “not intended for microbiologically unsound water”. Your standard faucet-mount filter is actually a pretty good breeding ground for bacteria.
Thankfully there are several technologies that have a proven track record for microbes:
Ultraviolet Systems are a chemical-free approach to disinfecting water. Ultraviolet, or UV Systems, literally destroy the DNA of bacteria, virus, and cysts. UV has been used in residential, commercial, and municipal installations for decades. UV consumes about the same electricity as a 40w light bulb, but has ZERO waster water.
We share, not to plant fear; but to Empower and Educate.
Know what’s in YOUR water!