Waterborne Pathogens and Water Filtration: All You Need to Know

Updated on March 2, 2023
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While authorities claim that American tap water is among the safest in the world, people show more and more concern regarding pathogens and microorganisms thriving in drinking water. Our water management systems, and companies like Total Water Compliance, do their best in their sanitization and purification efforts, but they don’t always succeed. Luckily, our current water filtration technologies are powerful enough to clean tap water of almost all waterborne contaminants.

Most Common Waterborne Contaminants in Our Tap Water

According to the World Health Organization, many waterborne pathogens can cause diseases when we drink contaminated water, and even when we get into contact with infected water droplets. Some of the most common such pathogens include:

  • E. coli – one of the most prevalent water bacteria causing infections and leading to severe consequences if left untreated;
  • Giardia – one of the most frequently diagnosed parasitic diseases in the United States, giardia can have a severe impact on all population age groups;
  • Legionella – Legionnaires’ disease can quickly turn into an outbreak if we neglect its existence and symptoms. 
  • Cryptosporidium – yet another waterborne pathogen, “crypto” has more adverse effects on people who already have a weak immune system, suffer from pre-existing conditions, are transplant patients, etc.;
  • Salmonella – while you know salmonella comes from uncooked food, it can dwell in the water as well, making it a dangerous water pathogen;
  • Hepatitis A and E – hopefully, you already received a vaccine against these viruses; if not, keep in mind that they can reside and spread in water. 

If you ever read the description of a water filter, you noticed most of them are efficient against other waterborne viruses (adenoviruses, rotavirus, enteroviruses, etc.), protozoa (cryptosporidium, giardia, cyclosporine, etc.), helminths, and more. 

What Can We Do Against Waterborne Pathogens in Our Drinking Water?

Some of the most efficient filters against microorganisms are the ones using reverse osmosis technology. Keep in mind that while active carbon filtration does clean your water of many impurities, you need unique water treatments against pathogens. 

Reverse Osmosis Technology

When it comes to water purification against microorganisms, the most popular solution comes in the shape of home water filtration systems that treat the water of your entire home, building, facility, or business in several filtration stages. Reverse osmosis technology strips the water from almost all chemicals, contaminants, toxins, heavy metals, pollutants, and microorganisms. 

Reverse osmosis units can take the shape of whole house water filters, under-sink water filters, water filter pitchers, countertop filters, and so on. Since they leave the water “flat,” most RO systems take the water through a re-mineralization process that puts back balanced, clean minerals into your drinking water. 

Experts recommend you test the water quality of your home before you invest in any water filtration system. If your water shows concerning levels of contaminants and microorganisms, you should consider a reverse osmosis system you size and tailor to your needs.

UV Filtration

UV filters usually go together with reverse osmosis filters, and their main benefit is that they deactivate entirely waterborne pathogens. UV filters cannot clean the water of heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, and other water contaminants, but it is the go-to solution for bacteria, viruses, cysts, protozoa, etc. Affordable and easy to install, UV filters are the industry’s poster children when it comes to eradicating all pathogens from the water.

Water Distillers

These machines remove many contaminants from your water: soluble minerals, heavy metals, and even biological threats (most bacteria, parasites, and viruses). Distillation machines do not remove some chemicals, but if you worry about pathogens, such a piece of equipment is a significant investment, especially if you want to give clean water to children, people with weak immune systems, cancer patients, and so on. 

Do you have concerns regarding the waterborne pathogens in your drinking water? Are you implementing filtration technologies to keep your family safe? 

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