As an essential service, we remain open full-time! To learn more about our response to COVID-19 Click Here

Cryptosporidium,  is an intestinal parasite that can survive in the bowels of humans and animals. Shielded by an outer shell, Cryptosporidium can continue to live in stool after it has passed through the body. Its ability to endure various conditions makes it difficult to eradicate. This parasite is also difficult to treat with disinfectants such as chlorine, which is why drinking water is so vulnerable to Crypto. When this organism is found in well water, it often leads to waterborne disease. 

Crypto is commonly found in private wells that have been polluted with human or animal fecal matter. Agricultural processes and runoff from storms could serve as catalysts for contamination. Another cause is failing or damaged sewage systems. If your private well is low-lying and prone to flooding, regular testing can help to identify Crypto. Conducting testing on a frequent basis is a preventative measure you can take to avoid contamination. 

The Effects of Cryptosporidium in Your Well Water

If Cryptosporidium is found in your well water supply, it can lead to sickness and other health problems. In 1993, a Crypto outbreak caused over 400,000 Wisconsin residents to fall ill. Typically, the parasite invades the intestinal tract and leads to cryptosporidiosis. Two to ten days after exposure, an individual may experience nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. While the sickness usually passes after a week or two, the situation can be very different for immunocompromised individuals. A person who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or suffering from an illness that targets the immune system could be at a high risk of suffering severe illness and death. Without a doubt, infection is something you want to avoid. 

How to Eliminate Cryptosporidium 

While chlorine cannot be used to eliminate Cryptosporidium, other methods are available. Protecting your well water is highly important, and you want to be sure this parasite doesn’t invade your healthy water supply. In order to eliminate Crypto, the following actions should be taken:

  1. Get a water test. The only way to eradicate parasites, bacteria and viruses is by first scheduling a water test. At Atlantic Blue Water Center, our lab-certified water tests are completely free. You can either bring us a sample directly or have a specialist visit your home to perform the test. 
  2. Boil your home water. If Crypto has been identified in your water supply, you may need to take immediate measures to protect your family. In order to have quick access to healthy water for drinking, cooking or bathing, boil a pot of water for one minute. Then, let the water cool, place it in a sterile storage container fitted with a cover, and refrigerate it. 
  3. Choose a filter designed to remove Crypto. If Crypto is a recurring problem in your well water, you may want to consider a permanent treatment option. Only specific water filters can be used to eliminate Crypto. Check your filter’s label to ensure it includes one of these labels: “reverse osmosis”, “absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller”, or “tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 for cyst removal/reduction.”  

You and your family deserve high-quality water you can trust. If you have any concerns about your water supply, don’t hesitate to contact us. Any potential issues with your water should be addressed sooner rather than later, and our specialists would love to help you!

Identify Cryptosporidium with A Test from Atlantic Blue Water Center

We provide water treatment and water softening solutions for homeowners that want a cleaner water supply and water that is free from hazardous carcinogens that can contribute to increased cancer risk. We’re also focused on providing additional education on water treatment, water quality, and issues associated with water contaminants. Call us at (410) 751-9200 to schedule your in-home water testing appointment today.