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Re: E. Coli

In a message dated 5/25/2000 00:53:26 Pacific Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

> E. coli outbreak in the water system?! (there was human death involved)
>  and water must be boiled before drinking etc... I don't live in ontario 
>  if this happens in my area should I even be doing water changes with this 
>  water to my tanks...? I know this may sound silly to some people but I'm 
>  seriously concerned..
E.Coli is a common bacteria, a gram negative rod, found in the intestinal 
tract of most animals, including humans.  It is found in the water supplies 
of almost any city to one tiny degree or another.  As with most bacteria, 
there are slight variations in strains around the country, some capable of 
making you sick more or less than other strains.  That's why you can drink 
your local water without getting sick (you've built immunity to your local 
strain), but if you travel to a distant city and drink their water, you can 
get sick (because you don't have resistance to their strain).  Sanitation 
departments regularly check water supplies for the levels of these bacteria, 
and make sure they are held to miniscule levels, but you are always getting a 
few E. Coli bacterium in almost every glass of water you drink.  Different 
animals react differently to different bacteria.  Diseases and bacteria which 
would make, say, a Wolf sick, or which might kill an Aardvark, will usually 
have little or no effect on, say, a human or a Raccoon.  There are notable 
exceptions, of course, but E.Coli tends to be more of a problem to humans 
rather than animals.  It is unlikely it would have any effect on fish, which 
usually fall victim to other varieties of gram negative organisms.  My 
opinion would be to go ahead with your water changes and not to worry about 
E.Coli affecting your fish.