All that you wanted to know about viruses and pathogenic bacteria in drinking water

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Posted on: 31 January 2019 by Karen Anthony

Pure water all across the home is perhaps the easiest way to ensure good family health. Focusing only on pure drinking water can undermine the efforts of staying healthy because you are leaving several windows open through which bacteria and pathogens can make its way into the household and create havoc.

Pure water all across the home is perhaps the easiest way to ensure good family health. Focusing only on pure drinking water can undermine the efforts of staying healthy because you are leaving several windows open through which bacteria and pathogens can make its way into the household and create havoc. Access to clean and pure water at every water point at home is critical for ensuring good health. While chemicals in water and minerals are a concern for maintaining good health, pathogens are perhaps most dangerous as it can create chronic health problems and often pose a serious threat to life. Therefore, it makes good sense to install whole house filtration systems by referring to websites like aquaoxfilters.comthat ensures that pure water flows across the home without any discrimination. Any tap you open supplies pure water which is very reassuring.

Water that is free from harmful pathogens is the gold standard in water quality that everyone should try to achieve. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is impossible to drink 90% of the water available across the world without purifying it with some treatment. It is perhaps easier and less expensive to remove many chemicals as well as suspended and dissolved impurities from water by suitable filtration methods, but pathogen removal involves a complex process of reverse osmosis filtration that can also be quite expensive but worth paying for.  To know what pathogens are and why it is harmful to human health you have to know about some scientific background of parasites and bacteria. 

What are pathogens?

Pathogens are microorganisms that can trigger several diseases the most common being diarrhea accompanied by vomiting often leading to gastroenteritis that can even turn fatal. Awareness about pathogenic bacteria and viruses will make you alert about its dangers that you can avoid by implementing suitable methods of water purification that removes the deadly agents. The pathogenic bacteria grow in water when it contaminates with human and animal feces and can even occur naturally. A number of bacteria like Escherichia coli, Giardia Lamblia, Campylobacter Jejuni, Salmonella, Hepatitis A and Legionella pneumophila often infest in drinking water.

All kinds of pathogens can come into the public water supply in very small amount, but when conditions are right, it can grow into large colonies which make it imperative to control and remove it before it can affect health.  Although various treatments of water help to drive away microorganisms, maintaining cleanliness of the water supply infrastructure is equally important so that it is free from biofilms and groups of microorganisms that adhere to the surface or one another. 

Pathogens are parasites, but all are not bad

Pathogens are biological agents that are parasitic and can make people sick because these are infectious and survive on the hosts by deriving its food and other nutrients necessary for its survival.  Human or animal bodies are the favorite haunts of the microorganisms that multiply rapidly when it finds a suitable host. Individuals who have low resistance to the microorganisms are likely to remain susceptible and contract some disease.  However, all viruses and bacteria are not harmful because some bacteria and viruses are helpful for the human body. BCG or Bacillus Calmette Guerin is one such friendly bacterium used in vaccines that enhance the resistance power in children to ward off attacks from some microorganisms. Similarly, the virus Human Paillomavirus when injected into the body can prevent polio.

How infections happen from microorganisms

Viruses and bacteria occur in the environment in a natural way, and some even help to build immunity or natural resistance of the body to other bacterial infestation.  Some other pathogenic bacteria and viruses can cause several diseases like the ones found in water as mentioned above which goes through a process of infecting the body.

According to medical terminology, the Chain of Infection is the process by which pathogens infect the body.  Pathogens are infectious agents that occur naturally in the drinking water, the food we eat and even on land.  The deposits of pathogenic bacteria are the reservoirs. Once we touch, eat or drink then reservoirs we expose ourselves to the disease-causing microorganisms that trigger the Mode of Transmission that determines the way the deadly agents enter into the body either through the mouth or the skin.  Immediately upon the transmission of pathogenic bacteria, it ushers in the phase known as the Portal of Entry when the bacteria enter into the host and starts multiplying fast making the person sick.

Removing pathogenic viruses from water

Potable water has to be safe for drinking for which you have to know how to remove harmful pathogensfrom drinking water. Using chemicals to remove bacteria and viruses is an age-old method while some water treatment facilities use radiation to kill bacteria and viruses. Filtration of water helps to remove organic substances, and public water treatment facilities use elaborate filtration and purifying systems to ensure supply of safe drinking water. Following filtration and purification, the water goes through the chlorination process that helps to kill the microorganisms in water. Controlled Chlorination ensures that the water does not smell of chlorine and its taste remains unaffected by the chemical.

Some other chemicals are also useful for removing microorganisms or killing it. These chemicals when added to water act like flocculating agents that help to form lumps of the microorganisms so that the size is big enough to be trapped in filters.  Another group of chemicals used for microorganism removal generates heat when mixed with water and kills viruses and bacteria. Using ultraviolet radiation after the process of chlorination helps to inhibit the process of bacterial growth in drinking water.

When you are installing a water filtration at home, ensure how much of the above is possible to achieve.  All filtration systems are not equal, and you must set your goal first about the kind of purification you want that should help to select the most appropriate system for your home.

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