We’re all aware of how important clean water is for our health. Drinking dirty water can make us sick, and it’s also not good for the environment. That’s why many people install a home filter to ensure that they are getting the best tasting, most pure water possible. But do these filters really filter out harmful parasites from drinking water?
Yes, water filters remove most parasites from water – even those that wouldn’t die from boiling the water. If you’re worried about getting sick from ingesting a parasite, then you should consider installing an under-sink water filter. They work by using activated carbon to remove contaminants from your tap supply, which includes parasites as well as other harmful chemicals and metals.
Read on to learn more about the most common parasites found in household water supplies and what to do about it!
What is a parasite?
A parasite is defined as “any organism which lives on or in another organism.” In the context of water supplies, this usually means that a parasite will take up residence inside of your intestines and start to feed off of you. Yuck! While most parasites don’t cause any harm, a few nasty ones can make us really sick.
So if you’re wondering if water filters remove parasites, yes, they do…but only some types.
More on that later.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what a parasite is, let’s look at some of the most common types that you may find in your drinking water.
The first type to consider are cercariae, which can cause swimmer’s itch. They live for about two days inside humans and make their way from skin to lymph nodes before they die off. This often occurs after swimming or bathing in contaminated waters.
Symptoms include intense itching and a burning sensation around the site where the worm entered through an open cut on your body (which I’m sure you’ll avoid!). The good news is that this infection usually goes away within one week without treatment. However, if it gets really bad, use antihistamines as needed – but talk with your doctor first!
Cercarian can also cause a condition called schistosomiasis. This is a serious parasitic infection that affects the liver, intestines, urinary tract, and even the brain. It can be fatal if left untreated! Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and general malaise. If you experience any of these symptoms after swimming or bathing in contaminated water – see your doctor right away!
Cryptosporidium is another type of parasite that you may encounter in your drinking water. It’s responsible for causing cryptosporidiosis, which is an intestinal illness that can last for up to two weeks. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and persistent diarrhea.
Fortunately, this infection can usually be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough.
- Giardia lamblia
Giardia lamblia is a common water-borne parasite that can cause giardiasis, an intestinal illness that results in diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. It can be treated with antibiotics, but there’s no real cure for it.
There are also a few other types of parasites that can find their way into your drinking water – like amoebae, roundworms, and tapeworms. But as you can see, most of them aren’t too serious and can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications if they do make you sick.
Can you test water for parasites?
Yes, you can test your water supply for parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia.
Most local laboratories will offer this service, but it usually comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re planning on sending in some samples to be tested, ensure that the lab technician knows which parasites you want them to check for.
But you could also buy a test kit from Amazon and do the test yourself. These kits are not too expensive, and they’re really easy to use. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully so that you get accurate results. However, most DIY test kits are not designed for parasite detection. They will detect bacteria and heavy metals in the water but might not necessarily detect all parasites. This is why using a local lab might be your safest bet.
The best way to remove these parasites is by using a filter
The best way to remove these parasites is by using a water filter. This will work on under-sink water filters as well as countertop models. Water filtration systems will reduce contaminants in your drinking supply, including parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.
In some rare cases, the parasite may survive the filtering process depending on how fine it is (this varies from filter to filter). Then you’ll want to consult with your local water treatment facility about what might be present in your tap supply based upon their test results for specific microorganisms like amoebae or cryptosporidium.
Just be sure to choose a filter that’s certified by NSF International to meet their specific standard for parasite removal (NSF 53). This will ensure that your filter effectively removes these unwanted contaminants from your drinking water.
Several different types of filters are available on the market, so it’s important to do some research before purchasing one. And don’t forget to replace the filter cartridge regularly ( every six months or so) to keep your drinking water clean and safe!
Is boiling drinking water enough to remove parasites?
Some people believe that boiling water is enough to kill off any potential parasites but this isn’t true because they’re resistant to high temperatures.
In fact, most parasites can survive up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit! This is one of the reasons why it’s best to use a water filter instead.
Boiling water is a good way of purifying water in emergency and survival situations but it is best to use a water filtration system for your domestic water. This is a great way to ensure that everything you drink â€“ including coffee, tea, juice, and even ice cubes â€“ is free of any parasites as well as other harmful contaminants.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends boiling water for at least one minute to kill all parasites. However, this method will not remove some types of nasty intestinal worms that are resistant to heat and can lead to diarrhea and other illnesses if ingested.
If you want a safe way to drink water without the risk of contracting an illness from parasitic infections like giardia or cryptosporidium, invest in a high-quality filter system today. Follow this link to see our detailed buying guide to help you choose the best inexpensive water filtration system for your home.
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