Total Coliform Bacteria & E. coli In Your Water

What is Coliform Bacteria? 

Coliforms are a group of microorganisms that are frequently found in our water supplies. E. coli a specific type of Coliform bacteria that normally inhabits the intestinal tract and feces of warm-blooded animals and has the potential to cause sickness and disease in humans.

Coliform bacteria health risk can go undetected as it affects people differently. In some cases, household residents acquire immunity to waterborne bacteria that are common in their drinking water, while guests or new occupants of the home may become ill after consuming the water. These harmful pathogens may pose a special risk for infants, children, and the elderly. Coliform, E. coli, and disease-causing microbes can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, nausea, fever, headaches, or other symptoms.

Since the symptoms of drinking water with Coliform are common to many human illnesses, knowing that the water is the source of the problem is difficult without having the water tested. The presence of Coliform in water can indicate that a contamination pathway exists between a source of bacteria (surface water, septic system, animal waste, etc.) and the water supply. Annual testing can establish a record of water quality.

What is Coliform Bacteria? 

Sources of Coliform Bacteria in My Water?

Coliform contamination can result from several sources. Coliform can come from runoff from wildlife, pets, and other land areas where bacteria is deposited. Additional sources include seepage from septic systems or ground water carrying insects, rodents, or small animals into the well. Ground water can be jeopardized during heavy rains if the well is a buried well or the metal casing is compromised or in need of repair. Casings or caps that are not water-tight or lacking a grout seal in the annular space, are also compromising variables.

Do I Have Coliform Bacteria in My Drinking Water?

Coliform Bacteria is present in most water systems, both public and private. Public water supplies are required by law to substantiate Coliform has been eliminated before the water can be distributed to the public. It is the responsibility of the homeowner with a private well to protect the home occupants.

Your water could be clear and smell okay and still have a Coliform problem. If you suspect a problem, and your drinking water comes from a private well, you should have the well water tested and treated. If a treatment plan is adopted that routinely adds chlorine to the well, monthly testing for Coliform is required after each shock. Additional chlorine must be added regularly, especially after heavy rains. This shock process is not recommended for a long-term fix as the well can become contaminated by the chlorine.

The EPA establishes standards for drinking water which fall into two categories: Primary Standards and Secondary Standards. Primary Standards are based on health considerations and are designed to protect people from multiple classes of toxic pollutants such as coliform bacteria, radioactive elements, and toxic chemicals and compounds. The EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for coliform bacteria in drinking water is zero (or no) Total Coliform per 100ml of water. This means that no Coliforms may be present in the water.

If Coliforms are present and E. coli is absent, then the water is considered unsafe and a potential health hazard.

When both Coliforms and E. coli are present, the water is deemed to be an extreme health hazard and should not be consumed.

If you have a positive (present) Coliform test result, all water intended for consumption should be boiled for 2-3 minutes, then cooled before using, or you should use bottled water for consumption until you are able to implement a solution and confirm a negative (absent) Coliform result.

Bacteria found in your water? Let RAdata Handle It.

If you need to remove Bacteria from water for your family's drinking water or for the sale of a home, RAdata can help! Call 800-447-2366 today to set up the installation of the guaranteed fix for bacteria in well water.  You can also use this Free Estimate form to have RAdata create a free, no obligation estimate for Water Treatment Services.

How does RAdata treat Bacteria in my water?

RAdata and other leading water experts recommend Ultraviolet water treatment as the most practical and reliable method for controlling Coliform and E. coli. A UV system is considered a permanent, effective, and versatile treatment option. UV technology destroys about 99.9% of all pathogens in the water including cysts, bacteria, and
viruses. Disinfection with a UV system is a safe, natural process that adds no chemicals and does not affect the taste or odor of your water. Water is purified by running through a watertight chamber that contains a UV lamp. As the contaminated water flows through the chamber, microorganisms are exposed to a germicidal dose of UV energy that sterilizes the Coliform. Water leaving the purifier is instantly ready for use throughout the home.

Most residential UV systems use about the same amount of energy as a 40-watt light bulb. For single family residential homes, a UV system usually costs between $1,000.00 to $2,500.00, depending on the size of the home and local municipal requirements for the unit’s features. Some municipalities require the use of special UV systems which will disable the water to the home if a malfunction occurs or if the annual lamp change is ignored.

How does RAdata treat Bacteria in my water?

Test My Water for Bacteria (and other contaminants)

RAdata provides a full water testing service. Click to learn about our Water Testing Service or get started immediately by Ordering Well Water Testing for your home.

Test My Water for Bacteria (and other contaminants)

Bacteria and Private Wells - Information Every Well Owner Should Know:

If you have questions on how to treat Bacteria in your well water,
call us today 800-447-2366 and ask to speak to a specialist.