Links to Useful Water Information
Private Water System Rules
Lead and Drinking Water
Water Quality Interpretation Tool
List of Private Water System Contractors
What is Coliform Bacteria?
It is extremely important to have your water tested annually for bacteria.
Coliform bacteria originate as organism in soil or vegetation, some are also found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals (fecal coliform). This group of bacteria has been the preferred indicator for the contamination of water and possible presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens. Some types of bacterial pollution include contamination from animal/wildfowl, runoff from woodlands, pastures, feedlots and other wastewater. The backflow or cross connection of “dirty” water with “clean” water is the most common manner in which a water system is contaminated. Always avoid any situation where siphoning into your water system may occur.
To maintain a sanitary water supply, it is also important to keep the entire plumbing system clean and leak free. Each time work is done on any plumbing or the pump, the entire water system should be disinfected with chlorine. Simply pulling the pump out of the well and setting it on the grass is enough to contaminate the well with bacteria. Most coliform bacteria are harmless residents of the soil and will not make people sick. If you find that you have unsafe levels of coliform bacteria in your water, you should obtain an alternative source of drinking water until the well has been properly chlorinated and a safe sample has been taken. Instructions on how to properly chlorinate are linked above. However, some strains of E. coli, the most common fecal coliform bacterium, may cause illness. The presents of E. coli in drinking water should be taken seriously. If you have E. coli in your water, do not use the water for any consumption purposes. An inspection should be done of your water system by a sanitarian at the Health Department to determine if there are visible indicators of surface contamination. Contact us at (330) 424-0272.