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#292349 - 05/28/19 01:35 AM Antibiotics in a water supply
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5207
Will boiling or filtration remove antibiotics from a water supply?

Tests Find World's Rivers Polluted with Antibiotics

#292350 - 05/28/19 01:59 AM Re: Antibiotics in a water supply [Re: Russ]
Janysboy Offline

Registered: 03/20/19
Posts: 16
In a word, no.

#292351 - 05/29/19 01:01 AM Re: Antibiotics in a water supply [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6995
Loc: southern Cal
The problem with antibiotics in the water supply seems to be the breeding of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and viruses, etc. There is no mention of any direct problem with drinking water containing ABs, although if there are ABs in the river water, what else is therein?

I certainly would not want to obtain drinking water from the Thames, or any other river in the lower. settled portions of the watershed. Give me a nice spring well upstream, the farther, the better. Then boiling is likely to produce potable water.
Geezer in Chief

#292380 - 05/30/19 02:47 PM Re: Antibiotics in a water supply [Re: hikermor]
TomP Offline

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 57
This article doesn't have enough information to have any meaning. There is no mention of actual concentrations (?parts per tillion? for example), an explanation of the percentages per country used, the defintion of safe levels etc. Antibiotics are not desireable in our rivers but this article is worthless.

#292381 - 05/30/19 06:29 PM Re: Antibiotics in a water supply [Re: Russ]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2752
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Berkey filters claim to remove 99.5% of pharmaceuticals.

It doesn't look like simple boiling is hot enough to degrade antibiotics.

Wonder if anything removes Aspartame, which is said to be recycled from person to person via drinking water (yeah, eww is right).

#292432 - 06/09/19 11:26 AM Re: Antibiotics in a water supply [Re: Russ]
WesleyH Offline

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 97
As I understand the issue of antibiotics in water, the problem is mostly limited to wastewater.

The biggest issue is the emergence of resistance strains of bacteria due to constant low grade exposure to multiple antibiotics in the effluent stream up to and including sewage treatment plants.

Here is an article that broadly addresses the problem:


A bit more extensive discussion is here:


You may recall that several years back, there used to be public service announcements that encouraged people to flush unused medications down the toilet. I suspect that many of the baby boomer generation still do as it is a quick and easy way to get rid of whatever medication it was.

Apparently, most of the problem in freshwater systems stems from lakes, where antibiotics and heavy metals can accumulate over time. Most modern freshwater treatment systems (municipal) are effective at removing such contaminates.


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