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Can You Shower In E. coli Water? (Hint: Don’t Swallow)

Can You Shower In E Coli Water

Adults can shower in e coli water if they don’t swallow it. E coli doesn’t get absorbed through the skin except if you’ve suffered a wound or have skin infections.

Infants and children should avoid showering in e coli water as they may accidentally swallow infected water. You should keep bottled water for washing your hands after a shower.

Suspecting e coli in bathing water? Continue reading for a detailed guide on whether you can shower in e coli water and how to prevent its exposure effectively.

💦What Happens if There Is E. Coli in Your Water?

E. coli is commonly used to indicate sewage contamination in water sources.

If there is E. coli in your water, it can have several harmful effects on your health and the environment. These effects may include:

  • Drinking water contaminated with E. coli can cause gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.
  • E. coli can also cause a severe condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), leading to kidney failure.
  • It can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life.

Public water systems are required by law to notify customers if their tap water is suspected of E. coli contamination. 

If you receive a notice from your water supplier indicating that your water may be contaminated with E. coli, it is crucial to follow their instructions and avoid drinking the contaminated water until the issue has been resolved.

Also Read: Is It Safe To Drink Shower Water?

🧼Washing Clothes or Dishes in E Coli Contaminated Water?

No, you should not wash clothes or clean dishes with water that contains E. coli bacteria. It is essential to avoid using contaminated water for any purpose, as it can lead to the spread of bacteria. 

Instead, use bottled water or drink the water that has been boiled for at least one minute and cooled before using it for washing or cleaning.

Also Read: Can RO Remove Bacteria?

🤔How To Remove E coli From Water

🦠How Do I Know if My Water Has E. Coli?

Before removing E. coli from your water, it’s essential to determine it’s presence. Here are some ways to detect E. coli in water:

  • Use water testing kits: Tapscore provides water testing kits that may identify E. coli and other impurities in your water. These kits are highly recommended because they are straightforward, quick to use, and produce reliable results.
  • Follow public water system advisories: If you get your water from a public system, pay attention to any warnings that the system sends out. If there is a problem with E. coli in the water, the system will send out a boil water advisory or some other type of notice to inform people about it.
  • Take notice of telltale signs: Taking note of telltale signs is crucial in identifying potential issues with your water supply. Some common signs to watch out for include family members experiencing excessive vomiting and diarrhea. If several members of your family are experiencing these symptoms, it may be a sign of waterborne illness, which could be caused by bacterial contamination in the water.

Also Read: Is It Ok to Wash Hair With Well Water?

👉What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of E. Coli in Water?

E. coli is a form of bacteria that can contaminate water supplies, posing health dangers to those who drink it. 

The good news is that there are various ways to remove E. coli from water.

  • Boiling water: Boiling water for at least one minute can kill any bacteria present, including E. coli. Allow the water to cool before consuming it.
  • Install RO water systems with carbon post-filter: Reverse osmosis (RO) systems can effectively remove E. coli from your water supply. A carbon post-filter is typically added to the system to remove any remaining bacteria and improve the taste of the water.
  • Use bleach and distillation: Adding bleach to your water and then distilling it can also eliminate E. coli. Use 8 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water and mix well. After letting the water sit for at least 30 minutes, distill it using a home distillation kit or a pot with a lid and a bowl filled with ice.

Also Read: Are Sparkling Bottled Water Brands Safe?

💡Can You Shower With E. Coli Water: FAQs

Can you absorb E. coli through your skin?

No, normally, you will not absorb E.coli through the skin. It’s because the skin’s outer protective layer prevents foreign substances, including E.coli, from entering the body. 

However, if you’ve areas like open wounds, burns, or skin problems, there’s a legit risk of E.coli absorption, so ensure you take proper first aid care and avoid contaminated food and water.

What happens if you drink water with e coli in it?

If you drink water that has E. coli in it, you might get health concerns like stomach cramps, diarrhea, or vomiting. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, especially in the elderly, young children, and people with compromised immune systems.

How long does e coli live in water?

E. coli can survive atleast 3-4 weeks in groundwater at 10oC and 27 days in river water at 14-20oC. The lifespan of E. coli in water can be affected by different factors such as:

1. Temperature (it dies above 160°F/70°C)
2. pH (it dies lower than 4 pH or higher than 9 pH)
3. Presence of other microbes.

Is brushing teeth with e coli water safe?

No, it is not safe to brush teeth with E coli water. You can swallow water while rinsing your mouth, which can cause diarrhea. It’s best to use bottled water or boil it for atleast 5 minutes.

Can you shower during a boil water notice?

Yes, it is generally safe to take a shower during a boil water notice, as the risk of contracting E. coli through skin contact is low. However, infants and toddlers should avoid showering in such water as they tend to swallow water which can lead to severe gastric illnesses, as mentioned above.

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