Pathogenic bacteria present in water
Legionellae, or Legionella pneumophila, are responsible for legionellosis, a potentially fatal respiratory ailment. These pathogenic bacteria, i.e. bacteria which are harmful to health, develop in hot water systems and air conditioning systems. The infection is contracted via inhalation of splashes or steam of contaminated water.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in the United States, 90% of legionellosis cases could be avoided with a better prevention policy.
Coliforms (including Escherichia coli or E. coli) are indicators of faecal contamination. They indicate the potential presence of pathogenic bacteria. Coliforms develop naturally in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals. In the event of flawed hygiene measures, they can be found in certain food products and in drinking water or bathing waters. Contaminated water which is ingested or which comes into contact with the mucous membranes can be the source of food poisoning, acute gastroenteritis, bloody diarrhoea, meningitis, urinary infections, or even septicemia (a generalised infection which is fatal in 27 to 50% of cases).
In young children, this can cause a haemolytic and uremic syndrome (SHU), a serious toxic shock which affects the kidneys and can manifest itself in an acute renal insufficiency.
Stop doubting your water. – Test it !
The installations to be tested
Some installations are more favourable to the development of bacteria than others.
The periods most at risk
The seasons and the temperature play a major role in the growth of bacteria and the occurrence of epidemics.
The same bacterium may have different consequences on health depending on the vulnerability of individuals.