Bacteria in water

Just like air and food, drinking water is not sterile - nor does it need to be. It should, however, be free from pathogens, which are micro-organisms capable of causing disease.

That's why we make sure that drinking water is treated to remove any pathogens that may be present, and is disinfected before it leaves our treatment works. A small residual amount of chlorine is left in the water to maintain quality as it travels through the network of mains and pipes that deliver water to our customers.

Although this process may be out of your hands, there are lots of things you can do to make sure that your water remains free from bacteria once it reaches your tap:

  • carry out regular cleaning and maintenance on plumbed-in water filters or softeners
  • check your dishwasher and washing machines are installed correctly
  • make sure taps used for drinking water and food preparation are cleaned regularly
  • make sure any tanks which supply taps used for drinking water have lids on them to prevent access for animals

For more information, please take a look at our factsheet which goes into more detail about bacteria in water (PDF 94 KB opens in a new window).

We also have an easy-to-read guide which explains how you can keep your tap water in tip-top condition (PDF 14.2 MB opens in a new window) 

If you are at all concerned about the quality of your water, please call us on 0345 672 3723. Dial 18001 first if you have hearing or speech difficulties.