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Private Water Sources And Disease: 3 Ways You Can Protect Your Family From Waterborne Pathogens

Nearly 10,000 people become ill each year in the United States from drinking water that has been infected by bacteria, viruses, protozoa and intestinal parasites. While most people don’t die from waterborne illness, they can experience mild to severe symptoms, depending on the type of pathogen responsible for the infection. 

Fortunately, most city and community water systems are extremely safe since they have to meet certain standards. Private water sources, such as wells and springs, are a different story. These sources are responsible for most cases of waterborne illnesses reported in this country. If you have a private water source, following are three ways you can protect your family from waterborne pathogens.

Have Your Water Tested

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you test your water each spring. Things to test for include coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, pH, nitrates and volatile organic compounds. You may also want to test for lead, arsenic, radium and pesticides, depending on the known toxins in your geographical location. If you notice any changes in your water quality throughout the year, you should check your water quality immediately. You should also test your water if the ground around your well has been disturbed or if you do any repairs on your well. 

Know Symptoms of Disease

To keep your family safe, you must know and be able to recognize common symptoms of waterborne disease. If your family has any of the following symptoms, you should suspect tainted water. 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Bloody stools

If you have a private water source and your family starts experiencing these symptoms, don’t assume they have a stomach virus or a case of food poisoning. Test your water to rule out pathogens.

Drink from Healthier Sources

Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates community water sources, you should try to connect to your local water supply. If that’s not possible, you can protect your family by using bottled water for cooking and drinking. However, you should keep in mind that not all bottled water is filtered using EPA standards. Look for water filtered and packaged by well-known water treatment facilities. At the very least, invest in a good filtration system and boil your drinking water for a full minute to make it safe for consumption. 

If you have a private well or spring, you must take steps to protect your family from waterborne pathogens. The cleaner and safer that your water supply is, the healthier and happier your family will be. To learn more, speak with a company like AK Quality Water Conditioning LLC.