How To Mitigate Harmful Bacteria In Your Water
Most of us are lucky enough to have safe water in our homes and towns. But water borne germs can still live and grow in pipes and water devices around the home (ex. humidifiers). Germs like to grow in stagnant water, and sometimes these germs can cause people to become ill. For instance, the pipes and faucets in our homes could become stagnant when we go on vacation for a week. This is when germs have the opportunity to multiply and grow.
There are federal and state laws that require public water utility companies to meet certain standards and quality for safe water. Even when the public water system is working correctly, our water can still have germs in it that naturally occur in the environment.
Protect Yourself & Others
If you have recently been away and your pipes have not been used, flushing your faucets or showerheads before using them is a great way to get rid of any bacteria growth. Also just continually staying consistent with cleaning the surfaces that water comes in contact with. Regularly cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining devices that come in contact with water will mitigate and remove most germs.
When Should I Flush My Water?
Regularly flushing your water system can increase its lifespan, effectiveness and is actually recommended by most manufacturers. You should flush your water: annually, before you move into a new home, if the water is discolored, or after any plumbing work has been done.
Another very popular water treatment to remove bacteria is to use chlorine. Chlorination is actually used by many cities to remove harmful bacteria from water. Homeowners of well water systems also use it to “shock” their system. Using chlorine as a safe disinfectant to our water is most popular because it behaves consistently and predictably, can be added to water at mass quantities, as well as being harmless to consume. When a water system is left stagnant for a period of time, chlorine can help neutralize the bacteria inside.
Bacteria is always going to be within our water sources and in our environment, but there are precautions we can take to make sure it is safe. Germs mostly grow on surfaces that are not regularly disinfected, or within the pipes when water is not moving. There are treatments that can help remove germs like chlorine, or regularly flushing your water system.