Study Finds Amoebas Survive In Treated Drinking Water

New research shows that free-living amoebas exist in the drinking water supplies of many industrialized nations, despite treatment facilities designed to filter and disinfect the water.

A survey of 26 studies from 18 countries showed that free-living amoebas (FLA) consistently survive these treatments and quickly multiply in drinking water distribution and storage systems (Environmental Science Technology).

Two scientists from America and Australia reviewed drinking-water studies from Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia to determine the abundance of amoebas. They report that researchers found FLA in 45 percent of tap water samples. In 19 of the 26 studies, the amoebas were in every tap water sample collected.

Although it might not surprise you that pesticides, natural gas, and yes, even amoebas are floating around in your drinking water, scientists are concerned about what these new findings mean for public health.

Chemical and Engineering News reports that FLAs “can cause fatal diseases such as meningoencephalitis, an infection of the brain” and “also host other pathogenic microorganisms, such as Legionella and Mycobacterium.”

Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions to erradicating pathogens like FLA from water supplies. Experts say that changing water treatment regulations would take years to implement, and most agree that the best way to control the issue may be to change plumbing codes at the local municipality level.

Image Credit: University of Leicester


William C
William C4 months ago

Thanks for the information.

W. C
W. C4 months ago

Thank you.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago


Past Member
Past Member 7 years ago

in addition to treatment of water you can simply boil it or pasturise it as same as milk before releasing it to the public for mass consumption and can use solar thermal energy for that purpose too which is cheap.

Chantelle L.
Chantelle L7 years ago

No wonder water is so expensive, look at all these extras they're putting in it! Lol. I'd like at least some amoebas, antibiotics and hexavalent chromium for what your making me pay for this water.

Deb Lewis
debbie Lewis7 years ago


Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons7 years ago

Yum Im going to go have a glass of amoebas. There is always going to be a way for bugs to get through so you may as well start building up an imunity to them.

Karen K.
Karen K7 years ago

Agree w/ Don A. Not enough info in the article. Should have a link to lists of places where water was tested and ways for individuals to ensure clean drinking water-- filtration, britta etc?

Petra Luna
Petra Luna7 years ago

Ew. Thanks for the info. So much for vegetarianism or veganism, if we're drinking amoebas...

Connie Kirkpatrick
Past Member 7 years ago

Sounds to me like even bottled water is an issue then? A good call for reverse osmosis and some of the other water filtration systems that destroy bacteria at the home level.