Coliform Bacteria: An Exploration

Coliform bacteria, which are a diverse group of bacteria, can be found in almost every corner of the world, including well water in the Lakes Region and all over New Hampshire. These bacteria occur naturally in the environment and are typically benign. However, their presence in your well water can raise concerns as it may suggest potential contamination from other harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Monitoring and addressing any coliform bacteria is crucial to ensure your water supply’s safety and quality.

How do coliform bacteria find their way into Lakes Region well water?

Coliform bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), can find their way into your well water through various routes. These microscopic organisms can be introduced into the water supply through multiple sources, such as runoff from rainfall or snowmelt, animal waste from nearby farms or wildlife, poorly maintained septic systems, unscreened vents or entry points that allow pests to enter, and even unsealed well components that may allow for infiltration of bacteria. It is crucial to be aware of the potential sources of contamination and take appropriate measures to protect the quality and safety of your well water.

Indications of Coliform Bacteria Presence in Well Water

Several vital signs could indicate the presence of coliform bacteria in your well water. These include a foul or unusual smell emanating from the water, discoloration such as a brown or greenish tint, cloudy water that appears hazy or turbid, and an unusual taste that may be metallic or earthy. Moreover, suppose you or your family members have been experiencing unexplained illnesses like gastrointestinal issues or recurring infections. In that case, it might be worth considering the possibility of these bacteria contaminating your water source. It is crucial to be aware of these indicators and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and quality of your well water.

Are coliform bacteria in NH well water hazardous?

While most coliform bacteria are not harmful, their presence in well water could suggest the existence of other harmful bacteria, such as fecal coliforms or viruses and cysts. Harmful fecal bacteria, originate from animal or human waste, and can cause various diseases like typhoid, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, dysentery, and others. It is crucial to ensure the safety of well water by regularly monitoring and treating it to prevent the proliferation of these potential health hazards. Viruses and cysts are very expensive and hard to test, so coliform test is usually performed in their place. If there is no coliform, there won’t be any viruses or cysts. 

What constitutes an acceptable level of coliform bacteria in well water?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the acceptable level of coliform bacteria in well water is zero. Coliform bacteria are indicators of potential contamination, and their presence suggests that your well water may be compromised, which could pose health risks. It is crucial to ensure the safety of your well water by regularly testing for coliform bacteria and taking appropriate measures to address any detection. LaChance Water recommends testing for bacteria on an annual basis if you are on well water. You can proactively maintain a healthy and safe water supply for you and your family.

My well water has tested positive for coliform bacteria. What should I do next?

If your well water tests positive for coliform bacteria, don’t panic. Start by retesting your water to confirm the results and ensure they do a count of the bacteria. If the second test is positive, the count helps determine the severity and also sets a benchmark for further testing after chlorination. it’s time to take action.

Consider maintaining your well regularly to prevent contamination. This includes inspecting the well for potential bacteria sources like cracks or faulty seals. In addition, shock chlorination or continuous disinfection can effectively eliminate these bacteria. Shock chlorination involves introducing a high chlorine concentration into the well to kill the bacteria. In contrast, continuous disinfection involves installing a system that treats the water as it flows into your home.

Furthermore, installing a UltraViolet water purification system (UV) can provide extra protection. UV purification uses ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms in the water, ensuring it is safe for consumption. It’s essential to consult with a professional to determine the best course of action based on your specific situation.

Remember, maintaining the quality of your well water is crucial for the health and safety of you and your family. You have to test to see if bacteria is present so some homeowners prefer having a UV to ensure their family is protected. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your water remains clean and free from harmful bacteria.

Managing The Problem

Coliform bacteria in well water might seem daunting, but it can be managed effectively with the right approach. At LaChance Water Filtration, we provide comprehensive solutions to address this issue. Our services include well chlorinations, water filtration and UV purification systems. With our help, you can ensure that your well water is clean, safe, and free from harmful bacteria. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help keep your well water pure.

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