Bacteria can enter well water through various channels. The common ones include sewers, septic tanks, and animal wastes. Overland runoff from areas with a high concentration of animals often leads to bacterial contamination of your well water.
The presence of bacteria in water, especially E. coli, indicates that it may contain pathogens that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, and fatigue. The simplest way to know if your well water contains bacteria is to get it tested for bacterial contamination.
If confirmed, the next step is to remove bacteria from water and make it safe for drinking. Many private well owners ask if a water filter can kill or remove bacteria. In this article, we will discuss do water filters kill bacteria in water. We will also mention the best way to kill bacteria in well water.
Do Water Filters Kill Bacteria?
The answer to this question depends on the type of filter installed at your property. Water filters with UV stage remove bacteria from well water. This being said, it is pertinent to highlight that no other water filter can remove, reduce or kill bacteria in water.
How do UV Filters kill/remove Bacteria in Water?
Microorganisms (living organisms) are exposed to UV light when water passes through the UV filtration stage. The UV light attacks the genetic code of the microorganisms and rearranges the DNA/RNA. This rearrangement eliminates the microorganisms’ ability to reproduce/function and causes adverse effects.
If bacteria cannot reproduce, they can’t replicate. Hence, they cannot affect you. UV rays destroy up to 99.99% of bacteria in water, are environmentally friendly, reliable, cost-effective, not labor intensive, safe, chemical-free, and help conserve water.
On the downside, UV filtration cannot work if the water is cloudy, contains other contaminants, or has suspended particles. Moreover, it needs electricity to operate.
Most UV filters come as a part of other water filters. They cannot operate alone unless the water is free from other contaminants.
Water Filters with UV Filtration to Consider
This water treatment is best for homes with multiple contaminants in the water supply. The filter can remove sediments, chlorine taste & smell, pesticides, organic chemicals, and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and algae. The RO membrane removes TDS and other contaminants.
This unit is best for drinking water supplies and people looking for a holistic approach to water filtration. The UV bulb lasts for 9-12 months. It comes with an indicator light to let you know when the UV bulb needs a replacement.
This one is best for people who already have a water filter installed in their homes but want to upgrade it with UV filtration. The standalone UV filter can be installed with or without a water filter.
It removes up to 99% of bacteria in the water to make your water safe. The filter can deliver up to 12 GPM flow rate, making it a good option for small homes for whole house usage.
This unit is best for homes with better quality well water. It doesn’t come with RO filtration but has 3 filtration stages with a UV filter.
The filter can remove microorganisms, chlorine, sediment, rust, odor, herbicides, VOCs, organic solvents, and other contaminants.
It features a large UV filter that provides a faster flow rate than other systems. The beauty of this unit is that you can use it for your kitchen faucet or the whole house.
What is Shock Chlorination and how does it kill Bacteria in Well Water?
Shock chlorination is another effective way to treat high concentrations of bacteria and other microorganisms in well water. The wells are disinfected using household bleach. In this method, bleach is added to your well to kill the bacteria. The amount of bleach depends on the well depth and volume of water in it.
This is a labor-intensive method and requires a day or two to give results but it is cost-effective and long-lasting. However, it adds chlorine taste & smell to water that you can remove with a carbon filter.
Is Chlorinator a Good Option to Remove Bacteria from Water?
A chlorinator is an electrically operated device that injects chlorine when water moves through it. The chlorine amount is set according to the water flow rate. The chlorinator adds chlorine taste and smells to the water.
Does Boiling Water kill Bacteria?
Yes. Boiling water kills or inactivates bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and other microorganisms in water. The heat is effective against these microorganisms but also concentrates other impurities in water.
Do Carbon Filters Remove Bacteria from Water?
No. Carbon filters don’t remove bacteria from water. They are best for removing chlorine taste & smell, VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides from water.
What are the Health Effects of Drinking Water with Bacteria?
Drinking bacterially contaminated water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, and fatigue.
What is the EPA’s Guideline for Bacteria in the Water?
The EPA’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total coliform in drinking water is zero or no total coliform per 100 millimeters of water. A water sample that tested positive for coliform bacteria is unsafe for consumption.
Can Faucet Water Filters Remove Bacteria?
No. A faucet water filter cannot remove bacteria unless it has UV filtration.
Can Pitcher Water Filters Remove Bacteria?
No. Pitcher water filters don’t remove bacteria from water. They can remove VOCs, chlorine taste & smell but not microorganisms.
Can Iodine Tablets kill Bacteria in the Water?
Yes. Iodine tablets make water safer by killing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in water. However, these tablets make water taste bad and are not approved by health experts.
Does Municipal Water Contain Bacteria?
Municipal water is treated at government-operated treatment centers before it is supplied to your home. It is free from bacteria and the chance of bacterial contamination is quite low unless there is a contamination source in plumbing pipes or your faucets.
Well water owners must get their water tested annually for bacterial contamination or if they feel health issues related to bacterial contamination. Water testing is the only way to know if bacteria are present in your water or not.