Although not visible to the naked eye, drinking water sources contain numerous harmful microbes and viruses that can cause multiple diseases, including organs like kidneys, intestines, digestive system, liver, and even brain.
Bacteria and viruses are microorganisms regulated under the EPA criteria for maximum contaminant levels (MCL). Viruses are the smallest form of microorganisms capable of causing disease, particularly those of fecal origin infecting humans through water transmission. Bacteria are generally unicellular microorganisms that may also cause health issues in humans.
Various types of bacteria and viruses are categorized as pathogens that may be found in pretreated and/or improperly dealt with water.Legionella is a bacterium found naturally in the environment typically in water and develops in hot waters. This bacterium poses a health threat if aerosolized (e.g., in a shower or air conditioning system) and inhaled, leading to a type of pneumonia called legionnaires’ disease.
Enteroviruses are small viruses, like poliovirus, echovirus, and coxsackievirus, that live in the intestines of infected humans or animals. In addition to the three different polioviruses is 62-non polio enterovirus which may cause diseases in humans ranging from gastroenteritis to meningitis.Bacteria and viruses may also be listed as “indicators,” which at a level beyond the identified boundaries, may reflect “a problem with the treatment process or distribution system integrity,” according to the EPA.
Turbidity refers to the opacity of water and, although it is not a bacterium or virus, it can impair disinfection. providing an environment conducive to microbial growth and capable of indicating the presence of bacteria/viruses and other disease-causing organisms which may produce symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and headache.
Coliforms are bacteria that occur naturally in the environment and are used to indicate the possible presence of other harmful bacteria(a warning sign is if coliforms are found in more specimens than permitted).Fecal, enterococci, or coliphage indicators are microbes that can suggest human or animal waste in water and can have short-term health effects, including
Cramps, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and more, and may pose a greater risk to people with very weak immune systems, the elderly, little children, and infants (enterococci are bacterial indicators of fecal contamination and coliphages are viruses that infect E. coli).
E. coli and fecal coliforms are bacteria the presence of which may indicate water contaminated with human or animal waste, causing short-term health effects including: cramps, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and more .they can also present an increased risk to people with severely weakened immune systems, the elderly, young children and infants.
The quantity and type of water treatment may differ according to the type of bacteria/viruses present. Some of the most commonly used disinfectant techniques are UV technology, chlorine, chloramine, and ozone. Many other traditional water treatments, such as filtration, sedimentation, and coagulation, can also effectively remove viruses.
Water treatment technology offers numerous benefits to bacteria and viruses. However, guaranteeing that drinking water does not contain harmful bacteria or viruses is critical to prevent serious health threats.