You and your family rely on your household plumbing for an untold number of things. Between the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room, you’d be lost without the water that comes into your home. Unfortunately, studies show household plumbing systems can harbor bacteria that could make you sick. People with respiratory ailments or compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible. You need to worry about more than lead when it comes to plumbing.
Opportunistic Premise Plumbing Pathogens
Opportunistic Premise Plumbing Pathogens, or OPPPs as experts call them, is the bacteria that might live in your premise plumbing. Premise plumbing is the plumbing system that transports water from your district facility to your home’s taps. The OPPPs that might call this warm and damp environment their happy home are officially called Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium avium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Also known as Legionella, this bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is a deadly form of pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control warns that the symptoms of Legionnaires appear approximately two days to two weeks after exposure to Legionella from a plumbing system. Because the symptoms include aches, coughing and fever, many people think they have the flu and leave the issue untreated until it’s too late.
Mycobacterium avium is the bacteria behind tuberculosis; thankfully, it’s quite rare. This bacteria can be found in your plumbing system because it thrives in water. If your family is healthy, you can withstand exposure to Mycobacterium avium. If you have someone who is ill, however, they are susceptible to its dangers. Symptoms include abdominal pain, chills, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, muscle loss, night sweats, and weight loss.
Although weakened persons are at the most risk, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can also make healthy people ill. This water-loving bacteria loves to give people ear infections, so if you or your kids have been diagnosed with them at an unusual rate, the bacteria may be in your household plumbing. If you’re also getting eye infections or skin rashes, you may have Pseudomonas aeruginosa in your water.
Is Your Home Making You Sick?
A dusty ventilation system and mold aren’t the only things that can make you sick. Your plumbing system might also harbor harmful bacteria. Enlist Five Star Plumbing to give your system a professional once-over. They have locations in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Then, keep your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room disinfected and your water heater set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, provided you don’t have little ones at risk of scalding themselves.