|Source of E. Coli in Water: E. coli can be found in many different places, including the intestines of animals and humans. It is a type of coliform bacteria. Most types of E. coli are harmless, but E. coli O157:H7 is dangerous to humans and is usually the bacteria responsible for intestinal infections and food safety scares seen in the news. This form of E. coli has often been connected to unsafe food handling, including recalls of specific frozen foods, bags of spinach, and spring mix. E. coli generally enters water supplies from rain, rivers and streams, and agricultural or municipal runoff carrying bacteria from dead animals and human sewage. E. coli O157:H7 is often found in wells and surface water. This type of E. coli is a particular concern when large scale flooding occurs as sewage treatment plants may overflow and flood waters may intrude into wells.|
Symptoms of E. Coli: Once exposed, it may be 2-4 days before symptoms begin to show. E. coli O157:H7 can cause bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Most people who have symptoms seem to recover after 5-10 days. There are no antibiotics that can help lessen the duration of the illness. In some cases, patients were hospitalized and developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure. Young children and the elderly, along with those who have compromised immune systems, may have more severe symptoms.
Filtration Solutions for E. Coli: Municipalities test water supplies for the presence of coliform bacteria first. If the test is negative, then there is no E. coli present. If the test returns positive for coliform bacteria, the water must then be tested for E. coli; these test results can take longer as incubation can be required. Most at home tests work the same way, including the Waterworks EZ Coliform Culture Test. If the presence of E. coli is detected, municipalities will issue a boil order alerting their customers to the dangers of the water. Well owners should test for E. coli at least every six months, but more often if environmental factors have put the well at risk. An ultrafiltration or a ceramic filtration system are ideal and practical solutions to protect your home or business from E. coli.