My well water tested positive for coliform bacteria! What now?
First of all, don’t panic! Yes, a positive total coliform test can mean your water is contaminated with e-coli, but not always. Continue reading for what it all really means or chat with one of our certified water technicians toll free at 1-866-376-2690 for customized advice on your application.
What are coliform?
Coliforms are a family of bacteria that occur naturally in soil and decaying vegetation as well as in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, including humans. The presence of coliforms on a water test indicates the potential presence of disease-causing microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts) in water – or, at least, that a pathway exists for those bacteria to enter the water. That’s why they’re often referred to as “indicator organisms”.
Are coliform harmful or dangerous?
Many coliforms are completely harmless. Fecal coliforms, however, like E.coli, can make people sick with symptoms that include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and headaches, and can even lead to kidney failure. That’s why a positive coliform test should be taken seriously – especially if infants, young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems live or frequently visit the household.