Drinking Water Dangers: Pathogens

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What are pathogens?

They're bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

They're disease-causing microorganisms found everywhere, especially in water.

Viruses need a host to replicate.

Parasites are larger and live off other organisms.

Bacteria are larger and can multiply in the environment

What's the difference?

Common Pathogens Transmitted in Water

Rotavirus

Causes severe diarrhea in children

Viruses

Hepatitis A and E

Causes viral liver infections

Salmonella

Bacteria

E. Coli

Both found in intestines of animals contaminating raw meat

Entamoeba histolytica

Known for causing amoebic dysentery

Parasites

Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplasmosis can cause severe complications in pregnant women

Giardia

Often contracted through contaminated water or food

Cryptosporidium

Notorious for being highly resistant to chlorine disinfection

What are the potential health effects?

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Abdominal pain

Headaches

Nausea

Dehydration

Fatigue

Fever

How do they get into drinking water?

Sewage

Human waste from leaking septic systems can get to water systems

Animal waste

Runoff from animal farms and dead or decaying animal waste can also compromise water supply

In fact, It's required by the law that they monitor pathogens in drinking water and remove them.

Yes

Do water treatment facilities get involved?

Water suppliers test for coliform bacteria daily and issue a boil water notice upon detection.

by mere sight, smell or taste

You won't

How do you know if They're in your water? 

Or if you look harder, you may notice these changes to water quality:

Unusual tinge

Cloudiness

Manure odor

Suspended solids

Pathogen Protection

Install a Continuous Disinfection System

Buy UV purifiers or a chemical injection system that infuses chlorine into water for disinfection

Take precautions

Boil water if needed

Shock Chlorinate

If you own a well, test for coliform bacteria and do a chlorine shock

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