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Is There Bacteria

in Your Tap Water?


Each year there are more than seven million cases of waterborne infections in the United States caused by bacteria in tap water. Many of these result in hospitalizations and even death, according to the CDC.

These harmful bacteria can trigger flu-like symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps, or fever. These illnesses are especially severe in children, elderly or visitors to the home who are not accustomed to the bacteria.

If you or a family member experience symptoms that may be related to your drinking water, consult a healthcare professional and get your water tested.

What are bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled living organisms that are found naturally in the environment and may find their way into drinking water sources. Bacteria levels in well water can fluctuate due to external factors such as spring run off or flooding from a heavy rainstorm. Several of the most common bacteria in well water are listed below.

Total Coliform BacteriaThe presence of total coliform bacteria in a well indicates a potential risk of more severe contamination.
E. coli BacteriaThe detection of E. coli bacteria signals contamination with human or animal waste, posing a more significant health concern.
Iron BacteriaIron bacteria are microorganisms that thrive in environments with high levels of iron, leading to the formation of slimy deposits and unpleasant tastes and odors in water sources.
Sulfur BacteriaSulfur bacteria, also known as sulfur-reducing bacteria, produce hydrogen sulfide gas, resulting in the characteristic “rotten egg” odor in water and potential corrosion of plumbing fixtures.
Legionella BacteriaLegionella bacteria are responsible for causing Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia often contracted by inhaling mist or vapor contaminated with the bacteria, commonly found in water systems such as cooling towers and hot tubs.
Pseudomonas BacteriaPseudomonas bacteria are opportunistic pathogens that can cause infections in humans, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems, often found in water sources and can lead to skin, ear, and eye infections.

What are the signs of bacterial contamination? stains in toilet bowl due to iron or bacteria in tap water

You may notice that your water is leaving unusual or heavy staining around fixtures and drains that may be rust-colored. Your water may also begin to have an unpleasant smell (rotten eggs or moldy). Water may also be cloudy or discolored. If your water shows any of these symptoms, stop using it immediately and have your it tested.

How do I treat bacteria in tap water?

Some private well owners use chemicals to “shock” their well when bacteria is discovered. But shocking a well is only a “quick fix.”  A highly effective alternative is a UV light sterilizer which can treat water throughout your entire home without the use of chemicals.

 Treatment Benefits

Chlorine ShockUV Disinfection
Quick resultsXX
Long-term treatment of 99% bacteria & viruses X
Environmentally friendly X
No damage to well casings & pump fittings X
No dangerous gas X
Taste and odor of water not affected X

The Right Solution Starts with an Accurate Test

U.S. Water offers comprehensive well water testing services through its Wisconsin state-certified water testing lab. This ensures the most accurate testing and, with our test facility onsite, you are guaranteed a fast turnaround time. In addition to our basic analysis, we offer a full range of certified water tests and well inspection services.

Eliminate 99% of bacteria naturally, without the use of chemicals


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Our rental options cover all equipment, a trouble-free maintenance agreement, plus all filter media for the rental term.

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Treatment Solutions

Based on the test results, U.S. water can recommend treatment solutions tailored to your specific issue. These may include chemical treatment, water filtration, or well maintenance.

Water Filtration

Install a UV filtration system from U.S. Water to effectively kill the bacteria in your tap water.

Well Maintenance

If the contamination is a recurring problem, a well inspection can identify the source of the problem (such as a defective well seal, or cracked casing).