Parasites in Drinking Water

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Environmental testing for Giardia or Cryptosporidium (parasites) is not available at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory. Parasite contamination of properly constructed and maintained deep wells is rare. Parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium are typically associated with surface water sources (ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, etc.). Only wells that are under the direct influence of surface water are typically tested. Homeowners should attempt to rule out more common sources of parasite infections (human to human transmission, especially children attending schools or daycare; animal to human transmission; direct contact with surface waters, etc.).

This testing is very expensive (approximately $400 per sample) and has a low sensitivity rate. A national list of private laboratories providing these services is available. Consult the unit supervisor for more information or visit the US EPA website listing for approved labs.