Health Problems That Arise From Drinking Non-Potable Water

Health Problems That Arise From Drinking Non-Potable Water

Potable water is suitable for drinking, cooking and personal bathing. Non-potable water is unsafe and not fit for human consumption. It can be used for other purposes like flushing toilets, watering plants etc. depending on its quality.

This differentiation between potable and non-potable water is crucial because drinking the latter can create health problems. When you drink non-potable water, you swallow organisms harmful to your body and expose yourself to a number of water-borne diseases.

Waterborne contaminants could be bacterial, viral, parasitic or chemical. Here are some examples of widespread diseases in countries of the world where non-potable drinking water is consumed because of the lack of access to clean, potable water.

Common Waterborne Diseases

  • Cholera And Typhoid– Inoculations aren’t a complete safeguard in case of cholera and typhoid. Once the water is contaminated by the bacteria, it spreads rapidly, has a severely debilitating effect and can even cause death.

  • Dysentery- This is acute prolonged diarrhea and can be accompanied with bloody stools, fever, and extreme weakness. Bacteria can get lodged in the intestinal system and result in intermittent recurrence of the disease for a prolonged period.

  • Flukes- Blood flukes are found in stagnant and polluted water, mainly in tropical areas. When swallowed, they enter the blood system and live as parasites causing a variety of diseases.

  • Cryptosporidium- It is possible to contract waterborne diseases without actually ingesting water. Recreational water can be risky too and swimming in contaminated water can be dangerous.The microscopic parasites present in pool water cause this diarrheal disease.

  • Giardia- It is caused by a parasite and is a very common pathogen in outbreaks of waterborne disease. This diarrheal illness is contracted through ingestion of or contact with contaminated water, food or soil.

Non-Potable Water: A Grave Problem

In many developing countries, access to potable water is not the norm, unlike developed countries. Even many big cities in developing countries do not have potable water on tap and needs proper filtration before it can be considered fit for human consumption. It needs to be purified well before being used in cooking or for drinking. The use of water purifiers is rare among the poorer sections of society in third world nations. This results in the outbreak of a variety of waterborne infections.

WHO studies suggest that deaths due to water-related diseases exceed a shocking 5 million annually throughout the world. Those who get medical help and survive often have to go through a prolonged recovery period. The long-term effects of the illness and strong medication weaken the immune system, making them more prone to other diseases and illnesses.

Making a Difference

In sum, the use of non-potable water in many countries is a grave problem affecting a large section of humanity. Most people aren’t aware that consuming non-potable water can open them up to the risk of contracting a variety of very dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases. Improving access to potable water, i.e. water of safe drinking quality can help avoid the spread of these diseases.



We at Palmeramia are a business that goes the extra mile to make a difference to lives across the world. We donate 10% of all our business profits to help people without access to clean water. Your purchases on our site can help thousands of people have easier access to potable water. Check out our wide range of products on our website.

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