How do you tell if there is bacteria in your water?

Water from faucet pouring into cup

What causes bacteria in water?

In the city or rural areas that are on a water co-op, the water coming into your home goes through a water treatment process.  It goes through that treatment process because water with bacteria isn’t safe to consume or bathe. So, states, counties, and cities have strict guidelines to make water healthy before it reaches consumer’s homes and businesses.

Homes and businesses in rural areas that are on well water have to do their own water treatment process, usually within the well system. Sometimes, they have equipment between the well where their water comes from and their home to remove the unsafe and unwanted bacteria.

The key sources of where bacteria comes from that gets in the water are any of the following that can be harmful if consumed with the water you bathe in, cook with, or drink:

  • Agricultural operations – this includes farm/ranch animal waste
  • Domestic pets and urban wildlife
  • Waterfowl
  • Failed sewage system – human sewage and wastewater gets in a cross-connection
  • Landscaping chemicals

What type of bacteria is found in water?

Without us being aware, our drinking water is likely contaminated by millions of hidden creatures, aka, bacteria. While there is some harmless and useful bacteria, there is also bad bacteria and that is why we have water treatment plants and process.

Bacteria are a natural element of water that is single-celled organisms, 7 of which we should be concerned with being in our drinking water:

  • E. Coli: E. Coli scientific name is Escherichia Coli is one bacteria found in water that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting if consumed.
  • Campylobacter Jejuni: This bacteria can cause infections that have cramping, diarrhea, and fever as symptoms along with general stomach pain.
  • Hepatitis A: This serious infection is identified with symptoms of fatigue, fever, jaundice, stomach pain, and dark urine.
  • Giardia Lamblia: This parasite giardiasis, an infection that creates symptoms of cramps, diarrhea, gas, and nausea.
  • Salmonella: This bacteria is symptomized by chills, diarrhea, fever, headache, and pain. It can also be found in food as well as water.
  • Legionella Pneumophila: Commonly known as Legionnaires Disease, this serious bacteria has symptoms of cough, fever, muscle aches, and shortness of breath.  Persons that contract this bacteria are typically hospitalized and some cases of death.
  • Cryptosporidium: This protozoan is similar to a parasite and painful, severe diarrhea and has been found in clean city water as well as well water.

Is bacteria in water good?

A Swedish research found that all around the worlds, water from pipes, plumbing, and taps had bacteria and biofilms. Ten million bacteria to be more accurate, and that is perfectly fine and safe because they are harmless bacteria according to those researchers.

These bacteria, along with microbes grow inside water treatment plant. They also grow inside of our water pipes, which is visible and identified by the sticky, thin coating referred to as biofilm. That biofilm covers all the surfaces inside the raw water intake that flows to the tap.

There is a large diversity with the bacteria according to the researcher’s findings in water pipes. It is believed that bacteria could have a more important role than has been believed to date. In fact, these same researchers believe that there is a large purification process in our water pipes after the water treatment and before it comes out the faucet.

 What are some harmful bacteria in water?

Of the 7 bacteria we mentioned earlier, the following 6 bacteria water effects are the most recognized for causing illness and hospitalization, in some cases, death.

  • Campylobacter.
  • Clostridium perfringens.
  • E. coli.
  • Listeria.
  • Norovirus.
  • Salmonella.
clean water from faucet

Do water filters remove bacteria?

Water filters are typically recommended for homes on a private water supply if there is a level of sediment or a risk of chemical contamination. There is wide range of water filters from fitting on the tap to hooking up to the water system. Some water filters provide a physical barrier that blocks and traps debris and some bacteria.

With this information, it can be concerning as to what happens if you drink water with bacteria in it, right? We’ve described some of the side effects of contaminated water bacteria common found earlier in this piece, but the more common occurrence is from coliform bacteria, such as E. coli . With this type of contamination, a person would experience cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headaches, nausea, and vomiting, and some cases, death. While the federal government, as well as state, county, and city branches have implemented strict guidelines in water treatment, leaks happen. Those leaks at water treatment plants allow these bacteria and other contaminants into the system, then they make it to our homes. Adding your owner reverse osmosis water system is an added layer of protection. Need water treatment in Leander, TX? Call 800-633-8469 today.