The water quality of 24 rural, domestic groundwater supplies treated with point-of-use, powdered activated carbon (PAC) filters was monitored to determine how such treatment might impact the bacteriological quality of private, residential drinking water supplies. Heterotrophic-plate-count (HPC) and total coliform analyses were performed on raw, PAC-treated, and overnight or stagnant (first-draw) PAC-treated water samples. Densities of HPC bacteria were elevated by 0.86 and 0.20 orders of magnitude for spring and well water systems, respectively, in PAC-treated effluents following overnight stagnation compared with levels in untreated treated effluents. Densities of HPC bacteria in PAC-treated effluents were significantly reduced (P < 0.01) below influent levels, however, after the point-of-use device was flushed for 2 min. While PAC significantly reduced the number of coliforms in product waters (P < 0.01), these indicator organisms were still detected in some effluents. Seasonal variations were evident in microbial counts from spring but not well water systems. It appears that aside from periods following stagnant-water use, such as overnight, PAC treatment does not compromise the bacteriological quality of drinking water obtained from underground sources.