Study says refillable water bottles are covered in bacteria

According to one study, thousands of bacteria can build up on refillable water bottles.

Posted: Nov 20, 2017 8:03 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2017 8:03 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Water bottles you can keep refilling may not be as clean as you think. That’s because thousands of bacteria can build up on them.

According to one study, the average athlete’s water bottle has over 300,000 colony-forming units. That’s more than a dog’s toy or water bowl.

Nancy Wheeler Handlon carries her water bottle with her most places and wasn’t too surprised it could get that dirty.

“I have a dog so I do know that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans. So yeah I just kind of thought well, I guess that means I need to wash my water bottle more often,” Wheeler Handlon said.

The study said the water bottles with the most bacteria are ones with lids covering the mouthpiece.

“I imagine that there are germs that can get caught in there and so you know I guess I'll want to be more attentive to making sure that area gets really clean,” Wheeler Handlon said.

Olmsted County Public Health advises people to not share reusable water bottles especially during flu season, and to refer to the water bottle manufacturer for the best way to clean it.

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