In the US alone, about 265,000 people get infected by coliform bacteria every year. Most cases are mild. Others are a bit strong. And some of them eventually cause life-threatening symptoms. Either way, the infection almost always starts from drinking untreated water. We’re here to help you fix that.
With the best water filter for coliform bacteria, you can remove most coliforms and similar contaminants in the water. It doesn’t matter where the bacteria come from. You can make the water a lot safer and more drinkable with the right filter.
There are tons of different filtration systems for coliforms to choose from, though. If you aren’t careful, you could end up with a product that doesn’t really clean the water you need. Or even worse, a product that doesn’t filter the water in the slightest.
To prevent that from happening, we’ve arranged a list of the best filters for removing coliforms. And we’re also teaching you everything there’s to know about coliforms so that you can be well-prepared at all times. Check it all out below.
What is Coliform Bacteria?
This type of bacteria is usually found in environments where ruminant animals leave their feces. You can say it is a pretty common bacteria to which we’ve become almost immune. When we say almost, there are still tons of other coliforms that could cause disease.
One important thing to understand about coliforms is that even the smallest presence of this organism means the water is exposed to sewage or animal waste. And when the water is exposed to these sources of contaminants, there’s a high chance it will also have other disease-inducing pathogens.
This is why it is so important to filter the water that reaches your house, primarily if you’ve found any kind of coliform before. You don’t want to be exposed to coliforms or any other similar pathogen later on.
Can Coliform Bacteria Affect my Health?
Yes, coliform bacteria are actually one of the most common bacteria in water. This means they appear in most public water sources, including city water and well water.
Different types of coliform like E. coli are known to cause a wide array of symptoms. This is a weird type of bacteria because Escherichia Coli is actually present inside the human body.
But the type of coliforms we have as a ruminant animal is entirely different from the coliforms we can be exposed to through water and feces. Especially fecal content in water or food can cause a severe infection of the dangerous types of E. coli.
Because they are so common and dangerous, filtration is always essential. Otherwise, you may be exposed to infection, which could cause some of its severe symptoms.
Symptoms Of Coliform Bacteria
Most people have consumed coliforms through their water or food. But they probably haven’t consumed enough to cause an infection.
When a person consumes coliform bacteria in large enough quantities to cause trouble, then that person may experience things like:
- Stomach cramps
- Respiratory tract infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Immune system weakening
- Kidney failure (rare)
As you can see, coliforms may seem harmless at first, but they are not. That’s why it is vital to have the right filtration system at home.
Safe Amount Of Coliform In Water
To discard any kind of infection, you will have to drink water with zero coliforms. But because that’s not always possible, coliforms’ limit is always tested depending on your location.
For example, it is known that less than 5 CFU (colony forming unit) per 100ml is generally safe. Otherwise, the water is probably not safe to drink or use in any way.
But water could have a lot fewer coliform bacteria content than that and still cause infections. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency from the US has set the total rate of coliforms in water to zero. Anything more than zero is not drinkable or safe to consume in any way.
Types Of Coliform Bacteria
We already explained that coliforms come in various types. But we haven’t explained what these types are.
It is essential to understand that coliform bacteria refer to a wide array of pathogens. They are all of the same family, but you can identify them as follows:
Total Coliforms (TC)
This type of bacteria contains all coliform species. It is found in different environments, going from the soil and vegetation to water. The primary source of coliforms in the digestive tract of mammals. That’s why it is common to find coliforms in highly populated areas and close to farms.
Small TC content on the water is typically nothing to be alarmed about, as it is generally harmless. But when found in large quantities, it is a sign that other possibly infectious coliform pathogens are present.
This is a sub-species of coliforms. It is usually found in the feces of warm-blooded animals, mostly coming directly from the intestines. Humans also have this kind of bacteria in their bodies.
Most fecal coliform is harmless because it depends heavily on a host. When it is not inside the body, it dries fast.
However, it can travel in water and fecal matter for several days. Similarly to TC, when there’s fecal coliform on the water, there’s a high chance there are many other contaminants as well.
Also called Escherichia Coli, it is a more specific name for coliforms. This is one of the many sub-types but the most common on humans. It is also the coliforms species that cause the most infections, as it is the most prevalent of them.
Some types of E. Coli are actually dangerous to the point of causing diseases and symptoms like kidney failure. That’s why the presence of E. Coli in either small or large quantities is a clear sign that it is not drinkable and possibly dangerous.
Knowing these types will help you pick the best water filter for coliform bacteria. If you can find a filter that gets rid of them all, you’ll have higher chances of preventing infection.
How to Remove Coliform Bacteria from Water?
If you checked your water for coliform and it shows more-than-safe quantities of coliform bacteria, then you will have to use any of the following filtration processes to remove them:
Ultraviolet rays may seem useless on the water, but it’s not. This happens because UV rays are radiated, which rapidly kills most organic matter in the water.
This type of UV filter works using a chamber where the water passes through. Here, the water is exposed to the UV rays that eventually radiate the water to eliminate the bacteria.
This type of filter removes coliforms as well as many other disease-causing pathogens found in water and surfaces.
Another way to eliminate bacteria from water is to use ozone. This is a gas created by electricity. It is injected into the water to remove the bacteria.
This process is called ozonation, and it is expensive. However, it is one of the most effective ways to remove bacteria and viruses. Apart from that, it also removes iron and manganese. And in some cases, it may get rid of hydrogen sulfite, which can be potentially harmful.
The cheapest and easiest way to eliminate bacteria from the water is by boiling it. Even though coliforms are typically resistant to high temperatures where they thrive, boiling the water eventually kills them.
Another excellent way to get rid of coliforms is by chlorination. As the name of the process suggests, it means pouring chlorine into the water to kill all potentially dangerous contaminants.
This process eliminates viruses, microbes, bacteria, and a lot more. It is the most used disinfection process in the world.
This process is based on pouring iodine tablets into the water. The tablets change the ionic balance of the bacteria in the water, killing them in the process.
Iodine is an excellent way to filter water from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. But there’s a chance iodination also causes mild sickness or dangerous levels of low iodine. That’s why it is mostly used by outdoor enthusiasts who drink water from natural sources.
Best Water Filter for Coliform Bacteria Reviews
Finding quality filters for coliforms wasn’t an easy task. But we managed to find a few of them that convinced us. We analyzed each one, tested them, and went through all customer reviews to know their ins and out. After extensive research, here’s what we found:
1. HQUA OWS-6 UV Water Sterilizer Filter
One of the main ways to remove coliforms from water is to use UV ways. It may seem overblown, but it is actually an effective and easy way to do so.
This filter works as a sterilizer. It is composed of a stainless-steel chamber where water passes through. The filter processes the water, removing up to 99.99% of all pathogens, going from bacteria to microbes and even viruses.
The sterilization happens thanks to a UV lamp. It acts by destroying the DHA of the contaminants in the water. This makes it a lot safer to drink in just a few seconds.
This filtration system may feel like it’s too slow. But in reality, it offers a remarkable 6 GPM capacity that gets rid of most pathogens with ease. If you want to kill bacteria and microbe more effectively, you can always slow down the UV-rays pressure for better results.
One significant advantage is the stainless-steel construction with Quartz glass. These materials are both super-safe for drinking water. And more importantly, they last a long time with proper use and installation.
That’s another benefit of this UV filter; it takes little to no effort to set up. You won’t need the service of a plumber to make it work. And it comes with all the hardware and pieces to set it up without buying extra equipment.
Finally, the filter comes with a green light that shows you when it is working and not. This could be super-useful when troubleshooting.
Keep In Mind
The only problem with this sterilizing filter is how much noise it produces. When the water passes through the filter, it sounds like boiling water. But this is nothing that affects the filter. A simple layer of soundproofing material could solve this problem easily.
2. AquaCera W9332230 HCP Counter-Top Filter System
Let’s say you want to fill a glass of water without having to wait more than a few seconds for it to go out of the sink. In that case, you can always connect the HCP counter-top filter from AquaCera, perfect for fast filtering capacity.
The filter is super-fast, thanks to the free-standing design that sits on the counter. It lets the water go through the system. Then it goes out through a small spout on the other side.
All this happens at a flow rate of 0.3 GPM. It may not seem like much, but it is more than enough to get several gallons of water a day.
But what sets this filter apart is the ability to filter organic and inorganic compounds in the water, especially pathogenic bacteria like E. coli and fecal coliforms, which can be so dangerous. At the same time, it gets rid of pharmaceutical contaminants, herbicides, fluoride, heavy metals, and arsenic.
There’s almost nothing capable of reaching your glass of water when filtering, even more so when you add the ceramic filter CeraMetix that combines carbon with infused media, removing all major sediments that go from 0.3 to 0.6 microns.
Another feature to love is the durability of the filter. Even though it eliminates all major contaminants from the water, the filter wears out only after 1500 gallons. That’s enough to get over a year of filtering. For the cost, it feels like an excellent investment.
Lastly, you can enjoy the easy-to-install design. The tubing connection goes firmly on the sink spout. But you can also set it up directly into house plumbing if necessary. Either way, it doesn’t require any tools so that anyone can set it up.
Keep In Mind
While it removes most contaminants and makes the water a lot cleaner, it doesn’t remove the taste. It won’t be ideal if the water at your home arrives with a weird taste. But if it doesn’t, then you’ll appreciate how well this filter softens up the water and gets rid of dangerous pathogens.
3. IFilters U200UV Drinking Water Filtration Purifier System
A 3-stage filter will remove thousands of contaminants from your water without affecting pressure. The U200UV from iFilters is that kind of product.
The stages start with a Carbon Sub-Micron filter made of coconut shell. It will get rid of sediments and general microorganisms. This is the first and most crucial stage of the system.
You’ll then find a traditional media that purifies the water away from odor, color, and taste chemicals or inorganic material that could make it gross.
And finally, you can find the UV filter. This is a Stainless-Steel Ultraviolet Purifier located at the top where water passes through to remove all its bacteria, going from E. coli and fecal coliforms Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and many others.
The filtering effectiveness is not everything it offers. You also get a long-lasting filter system with 2,000 gallons of total capacity. It May seems like little, but it can actually provide over 1 year of full filtering without being replaced.
When it’s time to replace or install, you won’t have much of a problem. The system boasts a practical design that fits almost any in-line plumbing system. And to make it better, you get a Water Hammer Protection Valve. It will keep the filter from leaking and overflowing later on.
More important than that, the whole filter comes with a designer faucet. It is totally lead-free and comes with a gorgeous copper-like design that fits any kitchen style. This filter makes your water cleaner and your kitchen more attractive.
Keep In Mind
The carbon block on the filter may secrete additional TDS or dissolved solids into the water within the first few gallons of your filter. But once the carbon stops shedding minerals, the TDS will lower down. Your water will taste, look, and smell fantastic after that.”
4. Express Water ROALKUV10M UV Water Filtration System
An under-sink filter to get rid of arsenic is also a valuable piece to go for. The AdEdge AD2X10C will go under your kitchen sink to provide on-demand filtered water that doesn’t have a single particle of arsenic.
For people who want maximum effectiveness, nothing comes close to the ROALKUV10M from Express Water.
In contrast with other filters, this one contains 11 stages. It starts with the sediment filter, where most of the sand, dirt, and other granules get stuck. In the second and third stage, you find the activated carbon filter and a granular carbon stage that remove chlorine, chemicals, and small sediments from the water.
After that, you can find the reverse osmosis system that removes major contaminants going from metals to radiating components. The water passes through an alkaline filter where all the minerals are taken away on the RO process will come back into the water.
Finally, the water reaches the UV purification system that tackles viruses, coliforms, E. coli, and other microorganisms. And yet, the water goes through a coconut shell carbon media that gives some of the taste back while removing unwanted odor and color.
Despite such a level of filtering, it is still decently easy to install. You get a Quick-Connect design that saves a lot of time and effort. And with the brass adapters, you can enjoy the filters in many more places.
The Leak Stop Valve system with a double-sealed construction all around ensures maximum reliability as well. Even if the filter starts to leak, this detection system will prevent water from going out any further.
Lastly, you can enjoy the water tank that handles several gallons of water, making it easy to reach the 100 gallons of water the whole filter can deliver per day. And with the chrome brass faucet, filling a glass of utterly drinkable water won’t be much of a problem with this filter.
Keep In Mind
The large size of the filter with the tank and faucet can be a bit overwhelming to install at first. If you aren’t too experienced, this may easily take you over 2 hours of work. But if you’re even a little experience with plumbing, you can set this filter within an hour to enjoy its fantastic results.
5. Ronaqua RA-UV-55W-SET UV Light Water Purifier & Sterilizer
Treating contaminated water without a UV system can be wasted time. That’s why sterilizers like the RA-UV-55W-SET from Ronaqua exists.
It is a low-pressure UV lamp that removes all the significant contaminants from water. Whether it is viruses, bacteria, or simple microbes, your water will end up clean and ready to be consumed.
There’s something about this filter that sets it apart from the competition. It can work at up to 12 GPM of flow. This is ideal for people who want to sanitize the water delivery in an entire house. You won’t be limited to install the purifier on the sink as it can handle a lot of water.
The filter is also durable. It comes with a stainless-steel chamber where all the water goes through. This matches well with the Quartz sleeve and the UV lamp. These last two are the ones you will need to replace when the filter wears out. You’ll save a bit of money as you won’t have to replace the chamber.
It is a highly efficient system, as well. You can make it work all day, every day, and it won’t consume much electricity. The best of that, it will last a long time, even if you make it work that long, so you can expect excellent results either way.
This purifier is also helpful for those who don’t want to spend any time setting it up. Its excellent design will save you a lot of time while setting it up. You get the whole package of parts and hardware pieces, so the installation doesn’t make much effort.
Keep In Mind
While the UV lamp, chamber, and Quartz will last a long time, the ballast does not. It is the most fragile part of the purifier, so it needs to be used correctly. Even then, it may stop working out of nowhere. Luckily, it is still rare for the ballast to stop working, so you can rest assured with this system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We already explained the basics of coliform bacteria. But we may have left out a thing or two that you want to know. In this section, we go a little deeper to help you learn more about it:
How to test for coliform bacteria?
The process is typically straightforward in most countries, especially in the US. Here’s a short description of how it goes:
- First, you need to call a jurisdiction or pertinent local water supplier. Then you will receive the test as required.
- With the test in hand, you now need to let the water run for several minutes (typically 5 minutes). Here, you need to take a sample of the water (generally 100ml).
- This sample is taken to a laboratory where the water is incubated in a warm environment to test coliforms.
- This incubation happens on a petri dish. The petri dish is left for a few hours to see how the bacteria reacts.
- Then the petri dish is taken under a microscope to see whether there are coliforms in the water. Depending on the number of colonies of coliform found, the laboratory can expose the CFU (colonies forming units) per 100 ml.
If there are more than 5 CFU per 100ml, then the water is heavily contaminated and possibly dangerous to consume.
Is it safe to shower in water with coliform?
Even though drinking contaminated water is more dangerous because the liquid goes directly into the organism, bathing in contaminated water can also be risky.
This happens because coliforms (all of their kinds) can survive for several hours in the skin. If you mistakenly bring contaminated parts of your body into your mouth or other tracts, it is likely to cause infections.
What is the difference between coliforms and E. Coli?
As we explained before, E. coli is a subgroup of total coliforms. There are various coliforms, too many to explain within the article, and E. Coli is one of them. Why do we talk about E. coli and not the others? But it is the most common and infectious of them all.
It is not necessary to drink coliforms anymore. With the best water filter for coliform bacteria, getting rid of those potentially harmful pathogens will be a piece of cake.
But you need a filter that works for you. That’s why our reviews can help you so much. And to ensure you know exactly what you’re tackling with the filter, our info section will teach you everything to know about them before picking.
If you read this article and follow our advice to the letter, then getting a filter that eliminates coliforms from your water won’t make much effort. It’s time to take action and pick the filter you so desperately need. You won’t regret it.