Are You Equipped?
Our bodies are made up of over half water. We cannot survive without this liquid. And while water is life sustaining, it can also become dangerously infected, and in turn, it can infect us. It is important to know that no water system is safe from contaminants… such as bacteria, whether you dwell in the city or a rural area.
Is bacteria flowing from your tap?
Every time you turn on your tap there is possibly millions of invisible living organisms thriving and flowing in your water. These organisms are bacteria, and while some are useful and not harmful, there are some culprits that cause disease and illness. According to the World Health Organization, at least 2 billion people globally drink water contaminated by feces, and over 500,000 people a year die from related diarrhea issues. This is a definite cause for greater water awareness and associated bacteria concern.
Common bacteria found in water:
- Coliform – a bacteria that can seep into our water supply from the feces of warm-blooded animals left behind in the environment. It’s not always going to cause illness, but its presence signals that disease-causing organisms could be in the water.
- coli (Escherichia Coli) – a type of fecal coliform bacteria, when present, may cause nausea, vomiting, cramps, headache and diarrhea, and may also cause other greater health risks.
(Keep in mind, symptoms from bacteria may not show for days and possibly weeks.)
A greater risk.
Something to note, those with previously diagnosed diseases are at higher risk of infection from bacteria and may experience increased severity of symptoms. This is especially so in those individuals where the immune system is affected with cancer, liver and kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, alcoholism or HIV. This would include those with weakened immune systems like the elderly, and the still-developing immune system of infants and young children. The health of your water is serious, and one turn of the faucet can make you sick, even though that water looks fine. In 2008 the U.S. National Library of Medicine noted that more than 19.5 million Americans reported a water related illness and greater than 50% were related to bacteria.
Human and animal wastes are the primary source of bacteria in water. These contaminants come from feedlots, dog runs, pastures and other lands where animal wastes are deposited. Other sources are discharge or seepage or leakage of septic tanks and sewage treatment facilities. Older water systems, especially older dug wells, spring-fed systems and cistern-type systems are especially vulnerable to bacterial influx. The age of a well is directly related to its potential to carry bacteria. Wells older than ten years run a higher risk of contamination due to the construction process of then versus now. Also, dependent on these variables is the extent to which rodents, insects and animals can enter the water sources, further increasing the chances for bacterial deposits. Floodwaters are another entry point for bacteria as well as surface run off. Floodwaters contain high amounts or levels of bacteria, and shallow wells and wells without water-tight casings are more susceptible to the infiltration of bacteria in this case.
Public Supplier Regulations – Public water suppliers are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA requires that all public water suppliers regularly test for bacterial contamination and a public notification must be made if bacteria are found to be present. Should you receive a notice of sort, stop drinking the water. Boil your water for 3 minutes before use or switch to bottled water. For more information click here. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-03/documents/pn_e_coli_boil_advisory.pdf
Well Water System Regulations – Unfortunately, with well water there is no one to notify you of bacterial contaminants. It is estimated that more than 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water in the United States, according to the US Census American Housing Survey 2015. So, it’s up to individual owners to monitor their water system because there is no governing body enforcing any standards!
Some Strong Recommendations:
- Test your well water system 1-2 times per year for bacteria.
- Test you water any time a component of your water system is opened for inspection or repairs.
- Test the water system when it is inundated by floodwaters or runoff.
- Test the water system should you have any of the symptoms mentioned earlier that aren’t going away.
We can help you help yourself!
Did you know Gordon Brothers offers a DIY (do-it-yourself) bacteria test? It’s an easy 3 step vial process that’s quite accurate. Use it at your convenience in the comfort of home. Stop by our office to pick yours up today. We do recommend additional testing if there are any signs of concern.
Gordon Brothers is here to help you get the best water on tap and nothing less. What’s flowing through your pipes is unique and not one-taste-fits-all. Schedule a professional visit today. It’s FREE! In the long run this test could save your health and money. Call us today: 800-331-7611 or visit gordonbroswater.com. Wouldn’t it be great to have a refreshingly clear glass of water right from your tap?