Bacteria in water

Just like air and food, drinking water is not sterile - nor does it need to be. It should, however, be free from pathogens which are microorganisms capable of causing disease.

Drinking water is treated to remove any pathogens that may be present and is disinfected before it leaves the treatment works. A small residual amount of chlorine is left in the water to maintain quality as it travels through the network of mains and pipes that deliver water to customers.

There are lots of things you can do to make sure that your water remains free from bacteria once it reaches your tap:

  • ­Carry out regular cleaning and maintenance on plumbed-in water filters or softeners.
  • ­Make sure your dishwasher and washing machines are installed correctly.
  • ­Make sure taps used for drinking water and food preparation are cleaned regularly.
  • ­Make sure any tanks which supply taps used for drinking water have lids on them to prevent access for animals.

For more information, please take a look at our factsheet which explains more about bacteria in water.

We also have an easy-to-read guide which explains how you can keep your tap water in tip-top condition

If you are concerned about the quality of your water please call us on 0345 6723 723. Dial 18001 first if you have hearing or speech difficulties.

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