Updated: May 17, 2022
By Virginia Cooperative Extension

Bacteria and Other Microorganisms in Household Water

The presence of potentially harmful, disease-causing (pathogenic) bacteria and other microorganisms is a concern when considering the safety of drinking water. Consuming water contaminated with pathogens can cause intestinal infections such as typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and hepatitis, among other diseases. Federal law requires public water utilities to provide biologically safe water. However, the safety of privately owned, individual water supplies such as wells, springs, and cisterns is the sole responsibility of the owner.

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