We drink about 150,000 liters of water in the course of our lives. That’s quite a lot, if you think about it. And as we drink our water day in, day out, we also consume many different substances in that water, some of which can cause serious diseases.
Bacterial resistance, allergies
Pharmaceutical residues can get into our drinking water because we pass the bulk of the medications we take through our urine. This passes into the sewer systems and eventually into rivers, lakes, or groundwater.
Severe pneumonia (legionellosis)
In those parts of water lines where water has a chance to stand, the Legionella bacteria can multiply freely. Hot water systems are especially optimal for their growth.
Hormonal imbalances, infertility
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (natural and artificial estrogens, industrial chemicals, pesticides) excreted in human and animal waste can get into the groundwater and disrupt our hormonal balance.
Organ and tissue changes
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Diarrhea, vomiting, fever
Fecal bacteria and parasites are found even in natural springs whether in the mountains or in the valleys as well as in city water lines.
Infectious diseases, inflammation
Infections can be caused by viruses in our drinking water. Pseudonomonas aeruginose in the cold water coming from groundwater supplies can cause inflammation and cysts.
Pathogens in drinking water
Drinking water contains an average of 50,000 to 150,000 active cells per milliliter (a small sip), which can lead to a massive germ load in buildings. The following pathogens may be present in drinking water and multiply as they make their way to your home’s pipelines.
Frequently found in public water supplies
Fecal bacteria are frequently found in public water supplies. In 2008, the Bavarian State Office for Food Safety and Health documented the presence of pathogenic fecal bacteria in:
up to 10% of all larger public water supplies
(more than 1 million liters of water treated annually)
up to 34% of all smaller public water supplies
(less than 1 million liters of water treated annually)Microbial contamination also in mineral and bottled tap water
Samples of mineral and bottled tap water also frequently show the presence of microbes. Often this can be attributed to the presence of bacteria in the springs and non-sterile filling conditions, combined with the long transport routes of the bottled water, where the water is exposed to longer-term warm temperatures in the sun, trucks, or heated distribution centers.
The Bavarian State Office for Food Safety and Health found coliform fecal bacteria in up to 13% of bottled tap water and up to 3% of mineral water bottles investigated.
Diarrhea caused by parasites in drinking water
Parasites, especially Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia, have repeatedly caused epidemics, most recently in the last two decades of the 20th century. The most serious epidemic occurred in Milwaukee, where more than 400,000 people became ill and more than 100 died by Cryptosporidium that had been transmitted by the city’s water supply despite chlorination.
Illnesses caused by Cryptosporidium cause severe diarrhea, which in many cases can be fatal, especially for those with weak immune systems.
The German Federal Environment Agency has also suggested a possible contamination of drinking water by such parasites. The agency recommended increased treatment of drinking water in waterworks with elevated turbidity levels, using steric processes designed to separate the parasites from the water using ultra-fine filter like those offered by Seccua Ultrafiltration.
Ultrafiltration for purified water
Although ultrafiltration technology has been mandated in the United States, Canada, England and other countries, but not in Germany, the drinking water here only rarely undergoes ultrafiltration.
In Bavaria, however, ultrafiltration is already prescribe in many areas, such as some parts of the Bavarian Forest and the foothills of the Alps, but is only slowly being implemented as municipalities drag their feet. (After all, potholes are more visible than pathogens!)
Contaminated components in your domestic water lines
Pseudomonas aeruginosa can enter your domestic water system either through the connection to the public water line, through contaminated tools and materials used during repairs, or through the installation of contaminated components. Dead pipes and stagnation in domestic water systems are perfect environments for bacteria to multiply. Particularly affected are cold water systems including where they tap into their water supply but also hot water systems in certain cases.
It can be expected that the spread of Pseudomonas will increase as climate change warms the groundwater supply.
Contamination of the pipeline network and the connections to the water supply can have particularly serious consequences for high-risk patients.
Serious consequences for high-risk patients
Among those especially susceptible to Pseudomonas aeruginosa are people who:
have cystic fibrosis and COPDhave had transplant recipientshave had major surgeryare on ventilation in intensive care units (increased risk!)have suffered burns (Pseudomonas cause severe skin infections)
Studies show that increased P. aeruginose concentrations are found in up to 30% of all dental treatment systems. These may result in throat inflammations.
What can I do for healthy drinking water?
Our Seccua Filtration systems help you purify your drinking water – installed where city water gets into yout home. So you’re having clean drinking water at every faucet in your home – for sure!
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