Why should I disinfect my drinking water?
Drinking water is disinfected to kill disease-causing micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) which may be in it.
Many different diseases are spread by drinking water contaminated by micro-organisms, including Campylobacter, cholera, amoebic dysentery, beaver fever (Giardia) and Cryptosporidia. These organisms usually get into drinking water supplies when source waters (i.e.. lakes, streams) or community water supply pipes or storage reservoirs are contaminated by animal wastes or human sewage.
In general, surface waters such as streams and lakes are more likely to contain disease-causing organisms than groundwater. Deep wells are safer than shallow wells. In fact, shallow dug wells are often as contaminated as lakes or streams.
Notice to Boil or Disinfect Water
Coliform bacteria were present in drinking water samples; therefore, treatment is recommended for water used for:
- Cooking (if not boiled)
- Brushing teeth
- Washing dishes
- Washing fruits & vegetables to be eaten raw
- Boil water (full boil minimum 2 minutes).
- Add two drops of household bleach per 1 litre warm water (double dose for cold water), shake, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before using.
- Add chlorine or iodine tablets and follow manufacturer's instructions.