Dricksvattnet kryllar av bakterier - och det är bra

Drinking water pipes crawl with millions of bacteria - and it's good!

There’s an entire ecosystem of bacteria living in your drinking water pipes - and that’s a good thing, according this study. Researchers from Lund University discovered that our drinking water is purified by millions of “good bacteria” that are found in water pipes and purification plants. So far, the knowledge about them has been practically non-existent, but research like this is about to change that.

There are at least ten million bacteria in one glass of clean drinking water. But that’s as it should be, the researchers say, because clean tap water always contains harmless bacteria. These bacteria and other microbes thrive in water treatment plants and inside our water pipes. This can be seen in the form of a thin, sticky coating called biofilm.

The researchers found that the diversity of species of bacteria in water pipes is huge, and that bacteria may play a larger role than previously thought. Among other things, the researchers suspect that a large part of water purification takes place in the pipes and not only in water purification plants, reports Cecilia Schubert for Lund University.

“A previously completely unknown ecosystem has revealed itself to us. Formerly, you could hardly see any bacteria at all and now, thanks to techniques such as massive DNA sequencing and flow cytometry, we suddenly see eighty thousand bacteria per milliliter in drinking water,” said researcher Catherine Paul. “From having been in the dark with a flashlight, we are now in a brightly lit room, but it is only one room. How many different rooms are in the house is also an interesting question!”

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