Bacteria in Water

If your home is on a water well, your risk of water contamination is higher than those who get their water from a municipal water supply. Unsafe water infected with dangerous bacteria like E-coli or coliform can cause gastrointestinal issues, dangerous fevers, cramps or an extreme case of diarrhea, with symptoms typically starting within a few hours, days or even weeks after consuming the water. Getting your well water regularly tested is the best way to avoid any issues, but there are ways to treat the problem after the fact.

Common infected well water symptoms include: 

  • flu-like symptoms  
  • fever
  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhea 
  • nausea 
  • fatigue 
  • loss of energy 
  • severe flu

Infected well water can affect the health of everyone who consumes it. Ontario Public Health tests for the indicators of bacterial contamination:

Coliforms: These bacteria are often found in animal waste, sewage, as well as soil and vegetation. If they are in your drinking water, surface water may be entering your well.

  1. coli (Escherichia coli): These bacteria are normally found only in the digestive systems of people and animals. If they are in your drinking water, it usually means that animal or human waste is entering your well from a nearby source. 

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