1. What are germs?

2. Getting germs
3. Germ environment
4. Germ travel
5. Symptoms
6. Water's role
7. Water suppliers
8. Rules
9. Conclusion

Diseases & pathogens

Note on E. coli

We hope you now know a little more about germs and a lot more about water. It's important to understand how pathogenic microorganisms live and function, and how they can be passed from one person to another. Since water is as important to microbes as it is to us, it can serve as a pathway from one host to another. Water treatment protects us in two ways: by cleaning wastewater before it reenters the environment, and by cleaning drinking water between its source in the environment and the consumer. Water suppliers must conform to a strict set of standards, not only because they are required to, but because they take seriously their role in protecting public health.

Not all diseases are gastrointestinal, and even among those that are, water is not always the risk factor. We conclude with a list of diseases, the microbes that cause them, and comments about their routes of exposure. Go to Diseases and their pathogens to see the list.

Microscope See the kinds of
germs we're talking


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