How Long Does E. Coli Live in Water | Quick Guide!

Like different organisms and microorganisms, E. coli bacteria have various life expectancies. E. coli is bacteria commonly found in the intestine, which is harmful. The most common source of pathogenic bacteria like coliform and salmonella is animal feces.

These pathogenic bacteria can easily incorporate into the water stream and even in the tap water through the natural water cycle.

So it is crucial to remove them from the water. 

To remove E. coli from water, we need to know how long it can survive in water.

In different places, the life expectancy of the E. coli bacteria changes. For example, it can survive in the river water for about 27 days and is found in water sources that infected people or animals can contaminate through feces.

It can stay for about 4 weeks to 12 weeks, depending on the environmental condition. That’s why I highly recommend you use the water filters at home. You never know when the E. coli can enter into the Drinking Water. 

How long can E. Coli live on Surfaces?

E. coli bacteria do not live on the surface and do not spread from human to human, but they can be spread from the feces through the infected people or animals in the water. However, the duration of persistence of Escherichia coli is 1.5 hours to 1 year 4 months. Although, the life expectancy of this bacteria depends on the environmental condition ( temperatures) 

What Happens if you Drink Water with E. coli in it?

Some of the strains of this bacteria are not harmful, but if you keep drinking water contaminated by bacteria, you will eventually feel sick. But some bacteria will make you instantly ill.

Older adults and young children are most likely to suffer from this bacteria. This disease is most likely from unpasteurized milk fresh produce such as spinach, lettuce, etc. And also from meat. It spreads from food and contaminated water- this is one of the common carriers of this bacteria. 

Some of the names of the diseases that can be caused if you drink water containing this bacteria: 

  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Infection in different areas: skin, eyes, ears, neurologic, lungs
  • Some of the common symptoms are: stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea
  • Kidney failure

Can E. coli be Removed from Water?

In this modern world, we think that a machine is one of the reliable things to do its job, but have you ever thought a device could thoroughly remove bacteria or viruses from the water? But in the future, we may get unique types of magical things.

What can be done to remove or reduce the number of E. coli bacteria dancing in the water for drinking? The process may look old-fashioned. But it works sometimes!  To kill the growth of this bacteria in the water, you need to boil water for a minute. This water should be kept in the fridge and stored in a clean and sterilized container. And it would help if you covered it tightly using a plastic bag. As you know, the cooling temperatures of the refrigerator can only lower the development of bacteria in the water. Killing bacteria is difficult as we can not see it with bare eyes. 

Can Reverse Osmosis Remove E. coli?

The Reverse Osmosis Filter System is one of the effective water filters for removing any bacteria. Not only E. coli bacteria, but it can also remove other types of bacteria such as campylobacter, shigella, salmonella, etc., and viruses such as hepatitis A, norovirus, and retrovirus.

But I think a filter can not altogether remove the bacteria or virus. Still, it is 99.9% sure that microorganisms and harmful components can be reduced using the reverse osmosis filter. And the Reverse Osmosis Water filter is quite expensive, but it does its job perfectly.

I would suggest some Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration for you. 

APEC water systems ROES-50:

If you are looking for a filter that can remove bacteria from the drinking water, I will recommend it. It is one of the premium quality reverse osmosis filters capable of diminishing the numbers of bacteria and viruses.

APEC water systems ROES-50:

It can remove 98.9% of harmful chemicals in the water. It keeps your family healthy and happy. This filter is super efficient with carbon blocks, has leak-free fittings, excellent taste, improved smell, easy installation, and maintenance. 

Simple Y7 UV Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Purification System:

It is an ultraviolet purification system that does not use chemicals and can eliminate the volume of microorganisms, bacteria, germs, and other types common contaminants.

And this is designed as a three-stage purification system that can completely change the taste and smell of water. This filter does not require installation and is suitable for the kitchen, bathroom, office, and outside. After using this filter, you will get to know about the difference. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What temperature kills E. coli in water?

E.coli can be killed using boiled water. The correct temperature for killing E.Coli in water is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is between 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, Escherichia coli bacteria will start to grow. So make sure the temperature you are applying is right. 

Q2. Does a Brita filter remove E. coli?

No, the Brita filter is not capable of removing E.coli bacteria. It is only designed for eliminating the level of Chlorine, lead, fluoride, mercury, cadmium, benzene, copper, asbestos, etc. This filter can not be removed because it combines activated carbon and ion exchange. The filtration system that can remove bacteria and viruses is the reverse osmosis filter. 


E. coli bacteria can not be seen easily, so you should use a trustworthy filter to keep your family healthy and safe from different diseases. It would help if you were careful because due to bacterial infections, sometimes people can die.

Now, you know that E. coli can live longtime in the water and thus carry a potential threat to human health.

In our previous articles, I reviewed the various kinds of water filters that can remove or reduce the number of bacteria growing in the drinking water. If you want to know about anything, you can suggest.

Have clean water every day!