Brandenburg: Germs in drinking water

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Germs in Brandenburg's drinking water

A germ contamination of the drinking water was discovered again in several places in Brandenburg. The competent authorities have detected enterococcal bacteria in drinking water in 16 municipalities in the Uckermark district and one municipality in the Barnim district.

While the contamination in the Uckermark district has long been known, the contamination of drinking water in the municipality of Biesenthal (Barnim district) only became public on Tuesday. Barnim County spokeswoman Marianne Suntrup confirmed recent media reports that drinking water in a community daycare center was contaminated with enterococci (special lactic acid bacteria). Suntrup asked the residents of Biesenthal to boil their drinking water for the time being.

Boil water to avoid health risks According to Marianne Suntrup, the bacteria in the drinking water of the day care center were discovered during routine checks. Since then, the daycare center has been supplied with bottled drinking water to rule out possible health risks. For the same reason, the residents of Biesenthal are required to boil their drinking water. According to the district spokeswoman, there is no reason to panic, because "boiling always helps." Enterococci are especially dangerous for people whose immune system is already weakened and for young children. You are at risk of urinary tract and gastrointestinal infections, which can be accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Possible mosquitoes Cause of drinking water pollution The authorities are currently looking intensively for the causes of drinking water pollution, but have so far been unable to give any concrete results. "The search for the source is ongoing," said Marianne Suntrup, district spokeswoman. As with previous reports, the carcasses of mosquitoes are suspected. The animals might have protected themselves from the cold in a drinking water container and died here, according to the responsible municipal utility company. While the search for the source of contamination is currently underway in Barnim, the investigations in the Uckermark district are nearing completion. However, no fixed cause for the bacterial contamination of the drinking water could yet be named, according to the district administration in Prenzlau. The results of the laboratory tests are expected for Thursday, said district spokeswoman Ramona Fischer. The pipeline networks in the Uckermark district are currently still being disinfected with chlorine in order to avoid the contamination of bacteria. However, according to the authorities, the water is usable.

Germ contamination in drinking water a general problem? The Brandenburg Ministry of Health in Potsdam, when asked by the media, said that new cases of contamination in Brandenburg are currently unknown, given the recent discoveries of germs in drinking water. At this point, however, the demand seems justified, because this year a contamination of drinking water from several counties in Brandenburg was reported. For example from Potsdam, the Barnim district and the city of Wittenberge (Prignitz district), where Escherichia coli bacteria and so-called coliform germs have been detected. (fp)

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