Sink Sprouts: The Underwater Jungle in Your Kitchen

Looking to dive into the fascinating world of microorganisms without leaving the comfort of your home? Well, there's a hidden gem right there in your faucet! No need to hold back; just scrape around the faucet to uncover a layer of what's known as "biofilm." And trust me, it's a tiny universe of its own, bustling with all sorts of life forms. (Sometimes, ignorance really might be bliss!)


This little revelation drives home the point that, despite the top-notch tap water treatment in the US, it's still a smart move to exercise some caution when you're sipping on that glass of tap water. You see, the intricate web of pipes can be home to some rather mysterious entities!


Those aging pipes might have a tussle with metal rust, and sometimes debris sneaks in through the cracks. Algae might even decide to set up camp. And, believe it or not, those water towers? If they go uncleaned for a while, they might just host a surprisingly vibrant ecosystem of their own.


To make sure that the water you're guzzling down is of the finest quality, it's crucial to keep a regular check on and clean up the water tower, the pipes, or simply resort to a trusty water filter and a bit of good ol' boiling before you take that refreshing sip. And, by the way, don't forget to make it a habit to keep those faucet seams squeaky clean!



Now, how can you observe these microorganisms?

Hi Mag Pro Lens

Difficulty: ★★★★★

Use tweezers to scrape off some of the residue near the sink and mount it on a slide for sampling. Observe it under your hi-mag pro lens


Additional Knowledge


Rotifers are like chubby caterpillars. When the feed, the two wheel-like cilia on their heads rotate, much like a vacuum cleaner. This unique structure generates a water flow, directing suspended bacteria, algae, debris, and other particles straight into their mouths — extremely convenient!


Feeding of Rotifers

Watching them feed by rotating their cilia is quite therapeutic! You can click on the video at the beginning to see how they move their cilia.


Nematodes, Bean-shaped Creatures

You can find twisting nematodes and bean-shaped creatures like small beans. What microorganisms have you spotted in the water? Come and tell use in our Face group “uHandy Microscopic Imaging Community”!


Where can you find traces of these microorganisms?

We can find traces of rotifers and other aquatic microorganisms in pond water and on damp mosses in the mountains. Take out your portable microscope and start exploring! Feel free to share the microorganism you discover with us too!