How to Get Rid of Coliform Bacteria in Water | Ultimate Guide!


It’s a terrible organism that we are always scared of.

Today I will talk about a known bacterium that we can find in the water and feces of warm-blooded animals, including humans. It is coliform that is always present in the digestive tracts of animals. So the source of coliform is mainly animal feces. Besides, it can be found in soil and plant also.

But, you may ask, how to get rid of coliform bacteria in the water?

To remove pathogenic organisms from water you need to use a coliform removing water filter, or boil the water entirely. Some water filters have RO, UV and ozone treatment, that removes coliform from the water.

How to Filter Coliform Bacteria from Water

It’s good news that coliform doesn’t cause direct illness, but their presence in drinking water tells us that there might be other organisms in the water that can cause illness.

E. Coli is another type of coliform bacteria that is mainly found in human feces. E. Coli has some harmful strains that can be dangerous for our health. Now we are going to learn a few things that we need to know about coliform, along with some preventive measures.

What do you do if you have coliform in your well water?

If water clogs around the well pipe if the surrounding is wet, it may cause coliform problems in well water if the cap is not tightened correctly. Besides unused old well is also a source of coliform. Septic tanks or animal feces near the well may contribute some coliform.

The thing you are going to do is shock chlorinate into the well water and test it again to check the change.

Shock chlorination is the process of purifying water with the help of chlorinated bleach.

You can also use a water purifier to get safe drinking water. Water purifier purifies water through the reverse osmosis process.

Besides prevention is better than cure, so keep you surrounding of the well clean and dry.

What Happens if you Drink water with Coliform?

What do you do if you have coliform in your well water?
What do you do if you have coliform in your well water?

Coliform bacteria are harmless. Water with coliform bacteria may indicate other bacteria presence. If your well water test result says that the most probable presence is <1 the water is kind of bacterially safe for drinking or other purposes. But why should we take risk! Just boil the water for simply 1 minute. Then it’s completely safe to drink that water.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Coliform Bacteria?

Reverse osmosis is a familiar term to us. Yes, it is the water purifier you use in your home as a water filter. Reverse osmosis is occurred by a semi-permeable membrane that wallows water particle to pass through but resist other dissolved particle-like pathogens, salt, pesticides, bacteria, or other microorganisms.

Reverse osmosis helps to reduce dissolved solids and suspended particles from water.

If you are tensed about your well water, here is good news that reverse osmosis can remove microorganism from water. This filtration is so thorough that 99.9% of the dissolved solids, including bacteria, can be removed. Now the point is how reverse osmosis work in water purifier?

Also Interesting: Brita Water Filters Alternatives

How to Get Rid of Coliform Bacteria in Water

Can you get sick from drinking water with coliform.

The reverse osmosis filtration system has a special membrane. Through that membrane, water is passed forcefully. While passing through the membrane, impurities based on their size are eliminated.

That purifying membrane blocks harmful chemicals, microorganisms, ions, etc. This reverse osmosis also purifies impurities that the naked eye can’t detect.

How to shock a Well for Coliform? Step By Step Process

Your drinking water well is contaminated by coliform? Don’t worry. I am going to tell you a very effective method. It’s all about shock.

Haha! Not the electric shock. It’s a disinfection method for purifying your domestic water by chlorine. It is known as shock chlorination.

If you want to remove the bacteria for good, follow the shock chlorination. Trust me; it will give a good result.

In this process, you must ensure that chlorine reaches every part of the water. While applying this process, make sure no one uses the water for at least 7-8 hours.

You must use household bleach containing 5.25% chlorine. And avoid direct touch from skin. It’s better to use hand gloves and chemical-resistant bleach while conducting the process.

Let’s go through the process step by step:

  • Take 10 gallons of water and mix it with 2 quarts’ bleach and pour it into the well.
  • It would help if you wash the wall of the well properly, and a garden hose should be connected to a faucet located nearby.
  • Just make all the faucet open and let the water run properly until you feel a strong chlorine odor. If the smell is not found, add more bleach to the well. Ensure that chlorine reaches every corner of the well.
  • Again mix 2 quarts of bleach with 10 gallons of water and pour it into the well without pumping.
  • Let the water stand into the well and pipe for 8 hours.
  • After the time, run the water from the outdoor faucet and check the odor. Run water until it smells is slight or not detected.
  • Also, check the indoor faucet until no odor is detected.

After the shock chlorination, chlorine may remain in the well for 7-10 days. A small amount of chlorine can be used for our work. It won’t create any harm. After 2-3 months, again test the water to check whether coliform is present or gone for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1#.How many coliforms are OK in drinking water?

Sadly, the maximum acceptable concentration of coliform in drinking water = zero presence detectable per 100 mL. That means if every 100 mL of our drinking water is tested, no coliform should be identified or detected.

Q2#.Can coliforms in water make you sick?

Coliform in water is harmless if you drink it. Coliform originated from the soil is not that much harm, but some E. coli of human feces have harmful strains. They can be lethal if we ingest them somehow. People get used to coliform after using it for a long time. But the first-time user drinking the water with coliform may cause them some discomfort and diarrhea. So it’s better to use boiled water.

Q3#. Can You Shower in water with coliform?

Water is life. Drinking safe water is mandatory. But in the case of getting a shower, even if coliform is present in the water, it is of lower risk. Adult skin has more immunity than children’s skin. So it’s better to bathe them with light boiled water. In the case of adult it’s better not to swallow water.

Q4#. Can you cook in water with coliform?

If you boil water for one minute, it can remove coliform and E.coli from the water. Boiling temperature kill microorganism present in water.  As the cooking process includes boiling so water with coliform can be used. But for washing fruits and raw vegetables, you must use boiled water. Special care should be taken in case of preparing infant food.


So, How to Get Rid of Coliform Bacteria in Water? Now you the details.

It’s not about how much harmful it is. We must be cautious about drinking water. Water is life, but water can cause many diseases that can take our life.

We must regularly check our water source to identify harmful pathogens and microorganisms other dangerous things. Most importantly, we must keep the water source and surrounding clean to turn into a bacteria source. So drink safe water and stay safe.