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Giardia, Bacteria, and Water Treatment:
Controlling Water Borne Parasites And Germs

Despite efforts by the U.S. EPA to make drinking water safe, disease-causing pollution organisms, called pathogens, still remain a threat in some areas. In particular, Giardia can cause outbreaks of giardiasis, an intestinal illness that can cause nausea, anorexia, fever, and severe diarrhea. The symptoms can last for several days, and giardiasis can be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the body will naturally rid itself of the parasite within a few months in most cases. To reduce the chances of outbreaks, EPA established an acceptable level for Giardia in the surface water treatment rule, promulgated in 1989. In November 1998, the agency plans on establishing regulations that further regulate the parasite. Successful water treatment is necessary to eliminate this risk.

Doulton Filters remove 99.999% of bacteria, cysts, and any other foreign particles as small as .2 of a micron.

Giardia is a pathogenic parasite that is commonly found in lakes and rivers, particularly those contaminated by sewage and animal wastes. The parasite exists as a cyst, an egg-shell-like covering that protects the microorganism from such hazards as chlorine, a disinfectant. The cyst also protects the microorganism from destruction outside the host, leaving it viable. When this is ingested, viable cysts can infect their new hosts.


017What does it do?

Giardia causes giardiasis, an intestinal illness. When solutions contaminated with Giardia cysts are ingested, stomach acid dissolves the cyst and frees the microorganism inside. The microorganism usually infects the upper intestinal tract and causes discomfort.

Although most people can recover from a case of giardiasis, the illness can be life-threatening to some people, such as infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems.

How does it get into drinking water?

Giardia is typically found in surface bodies, like lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams. It is found in human and animal fecal matter, so bodies that are contaminated with sewage or animal waste likely contain Giardia. For this reason, sources near farms are particularly vulnerable to Giardia contamination.

Shallow aquifers that are recharged by surface waters may also be susceptible to Giardia contamination. But generally, only surface sources are affected by the cyst.

If you do not know where your drinking waters comes from, call your utility and ask. Surface waters source are much more likely to becomecontaminated with Giardia than underground aquifers.

Don't government facilities eliminate parasites?

/7845027410Current EPA drinking waters and standards require the removal or disinfection of Giardia. The current national primary standards require plants to both filter and disinfect waters to ensure 99.9% of the Giardia /*ysts are removed or disinfected. But sometimes the protective cyst prevents plants from killing the microorganism with disinfection. To effectively control Giardia, the cysts must be physically removed from drinking waters.  Doulton Filters remove 99.999% of bacteria, cysts, and any other foreign particles as small as .2 of a micron.

Is it in well waters?

Giardia can be found in wells, particularly if the well is located on a farm. But the most common sources of Giardia are surface sources, like rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.

What can you do?

If you think your source may be susceptible to Giardia contamination, or if you are concerned about the possible health effects of contamination, EPA recommends you consider one of these options:

Boil your drinking and cooking liquids for at least one minute - or - Install a filter under your sink that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation to remove Giardia. The filter cartridge should be a carbon block with micron size of 1.0 or smaller.

Doulton Filters remove 99.999% of bacteria, cysts, and any other foreign particles as small as .2 of a micron.


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  Rexford MT 59930

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