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Biofilm – What it is & why it’s not good

Have you ever noticed that sticky goo-like substance on your plumbing fixtures? Well this slime around the end of your faucet, is more than just goo. You could actually be putting yourself at risk of biofilm.


What is it?

Biofilm is a collection of one or more species of bacteria and their waste. In addition to being dangerous to your health, biofilm is disgusting and smells. If it’s been a little while since you really cleaned your bathroom and kitchen fixtures, there may be a potential for biofilm.

What is it bad?

Some illnesses and diseases associated with biofilm are Legionnaire’s disease, ear infections, E.Coli, and Salmonella. While it isn’t common for someone to contract a serious illness from biofilm, it’s not impossible.


You’re at greater risk in the kitchen than in the bathroom. This is due to handling items that bring bacteria, such as chicken. Raw chicken can bring bacteria into your kitchen and get into your fixtures. These bacteria can build up on the metal screen on your kitchen sink faucet and eventually become large enough to break off into your dishes and food.


Once biofilm becomes established, it is almost impossible to remove it with cleaners. They must be removed physically or the plumbing fixtures affected must be replaced.


Piping used in homes today, such as PVC and copper pipes, are smooth. This is good because the smooth texture makes it more difficult for biofilm to produce. However, over time hard water starts to build up on the interior surfaces of the pipes and creates a potential home for bacteria and biofilm. Once the bacteria are in your piping, they can travel to your shower head and disperse into the air through steam and the water coming out of your fixture.


A water softer is a good solution in this situation. The water softener will run the hard water through a filter and prevent the development of biofilms in your home plumbing.


Biofilm can be quite scary and gross. Cleaning your bathroom and kitchen fixtures frequently and using water softeners can avoid these biofilms from forming in your home.


If you’re concerned about your water quality and plumbing, contact an experienced plumbing company, call Need A Plumber. Need A Plumber can help you schedule your camera plumbing inspection or assist you with any of your plumbing needs.


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