Fridge water filters and pathogens

If you've got a water dispenser on your fridge, you might wonder whether the filter can help to keep your water safe from bugs and other nasties – properly known as 'pathogens'.

In this guide, we'll go through what a pathogen is and how to keep you and your family safe from them. 

What is a pathogen?

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A 'pathogen' is any virus, bacteria or other microorganism that makes you feel unwell. They can easily be transferred and carried in water. One recent example is 'Cryptosporidium', which was found in Lancashire's water supply in 2015 and made hundreds of people sick.

In cases like that, it's natural to wonder whether your fridge's water filter could make their water safe to drink.

Is your filter working?

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The filter in your fridge may not be able to filter out all the pathogens that end up in water – but should be effective for most of them. It's always best to check the user manual, as some filters may only be designed to filter larger minerals, to make the water taste a bit better – not make it safe to drink.

But whatever kind of filter your fridge has, if there's an outbreak of waterborne pathogens in your area, it's crucial to follow any advice provided by the authorities for preparing drinking water: your health and wellbeing may depend on it.

You should also make sure to regularly replace the water filter, as the material in them only lasts a few months. Most fridges will have an alarm to warn you when it's time to replace it.

Keeping water safe

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Unless there's an outbreak in your area, your fridge filter should be just fine – and you shouldn't need to do anything else to the water before drinking it. If there is an outbreak, you should take the extra precaution of boiling all drinking water first, and follow any other instructions provided by the relevant authorities – just to make sure.

Hopefully that's everything you need to know, but if you need any extra help, you can get in touch with our Team Knowhow experts here.

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