Why shouldn't we drink contaminated water?

Bacteria and germs in drinking water - these are the most common pathogens

The subject of water hygiene is extremely complex and not only includes the problem of bacteria and germs in drinking water. This in turn means that there is often still uncertainty - both on the part of the tenants and from the perspective of the owners. The enormous number of possible types of bacteria and germs that can occur in the water causes confusion, as does the many possibilities of killing different pathogens or preventing them from multiplying.

Bacteria and germs in drinking water are always a problem that both private households and public institutions have to struggle with. The subject of water hygiene is therefore becoming increasingly important for people, especially with regard to bacteria and germs in drinking water. With the amendment of the Drinking Water Ordinance 2011, an obligation for landlords came into force. It states that homeowners have to control their drinking water in clearly declared rhythms, provided the building complex reaches a certain size, or third parties use the water as drinking water. The aim is to ensure that not only the drinking water that is supplied by the waterworks, but also the water that actually flows from the taps is free of germs and bacteria. Nevertheless, tenants cannot be one hundred percent sure whether their tap water is really free from germs and bacteria.

Bacteria and germs in drinking water: ignorance on all levels

Bacteria and germs in drinking water pose a major threat to the health of users. Therefore we try to be a little transparent in the following list of the most dangerous and most common bacteria and germs in drinking water.

The most prominent bacteria: Legionella

Most people are familiar with Legionella. These are so-called moist germs that multiply particularly well in water. The rod bacteria are mainly found in warm water systems. Lukewarm temperatures of around 20 to 50 degrees Celsius are ideal for legionella. Bacteria and germs in drinking water in the form of legionella are therefore not uncommon in private households. Especially in the warmer summer months, an infestation within the in-house pipes is not uncommon. Acute Legionella infestation at water temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius is much more common than most people think.

Legionella can pose an enormous health risk, especially when babies or young children are affected. Legionella cause, for example, Pontaic fever and Legionnaires' disease. You can find out more about Legionella and the dangers posed by bacteria in this article

Would you like to test your tap water yourself? You can find the legionella test here

Cold water germs: pseudomonads in drinking water

Pseudomonads are cold water germs that are particularly comfortable in stagnant water. Older pipeline systems or pipes with less strong flow are often the germs of the pathogens that can trigger pneumonia and urinary tract infections. The most affected are people with weakened immune systems, as well as children and babies.

What does the biofilm have to do with bacteria and germs in drinking water?

The biofilm describes the organic matter generally found in the water, which is deposited in pipes and lines. These deposits are not infrequently breeding grounds for bacteria and germs in drinking water, because they offer ideal conditions for the pathogen to grow. This permanent source of pathogen contaminates the water in the long term, because germs and bacteria are constantly forming here, which get into the drinking water. Biofilms in lines and pipes should therefore be professionally removed on a regular basis. These biofilms are also a common problem in dental practices, for example, when deposits form in instrument hoses.

E. coli bacteria in drinking water

E. Coli strain bacteria are found in both human and animal intestines. If there is severe contamination by E. Coli bacteria, this can indicate a contamination of the groundwater with faeces (for example in more rural areas with well use). The bacteria mainly cause symptoms in the stomach and intestines, but are also associated with inflammation of the appendix or peritoneum.

Stubborn bacteria and germs in drinking water: enterococci

Enterococci, like E. coli bacteria, count among the intestinal pathogens and are very dangerous to human health, especially in high concentrations.

Precisely because bacteria and germs in drinking water are often underestimated, the risk they pose is enormous.

In particular, a water test for Legionella is recommended if this is not carried out by the landlord or if the landlord does not meet his obligation to provide evidence to the tenant. Even if compliance with the drinking water ordinance is strictly controlled in Germany, contamination within in-house pipes is not uncommon and should not be underestimated.

Do you have any questions about other bacteria and germs in drinking water?
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