Water is one of the most important substances that we need to survive. It can also be one of the most dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions when drinking it.
Water pollution is a growing global concern, especially in the United States. As per the EPA, almost half of the country’s rivers and streams and over one-third of lakes are polluted. Polluted water bodies affect not only our physical health but also our environment and entire ecosystems.
Consuming polluted water harms us in many ways. So, we must purify it before drinking or consuming it. In this article, we’ll dive into the specifics of polluted water, why purify water before consuming it, and what happens when we end up consuming contaminated water.
Why Purify Water Before Drinking
Water contains many germs, bacteria, and other microorganisms. These can be found in lakes, rivers, streams, and underground aquifers. Water may also contain chemicals or minerals that can impact your health when consumed over long periods. Such chemicals include arsenic, lead, and nitrates. Water can also contain toxins such as pesticides or fecal matter from animal feces washed into surface water sources such as lakes or streams.
Water sources are often contaminated with parasites such as cryptosporidium, which do not need a host cell like bacteria do to thrive. Instead, they take advantage of the nutrient-rich environment provided by human feces found in contaminated water supplies. This parasite cannot survive without an environment containing at least 0.5 parts per million (ppm) chlorine for more than 48 hours. However, it does not necessarily mean that tap water treated with chlorination will kill all parasites present in your home. Some may still remain after treatment due to low levels left over after treatment processes.
Thus comes the need to purify water using modern means. Purification methods such as UV-treating can kill up to 99% of germs in water, making it safe to drink. Boiling your water before drinking also kills 99% of harmful germs.
How Water Purification Works
Water purification is a process that makes water safe to drink. The process of purifying water involves removing or killing harmful bacteria and viruses, chemicals and other contaminants, parasites, and other biological materials from the water.
Water can be purified either by natural means or with the help of technology. Natural water purification processes can include filtration through sand, charcoal, and volcanic ash; absorption by plants such as bamboo. Distillation and boiling are also common purification methods.
Benefits of Purifying Water Before Drinking It
Water purification is the best way to ensure you are drinking clean water. Water-borne diseases and parasites are two major concerns when it comes to drinking water, but they can be easily avoided with proper purification techniques.
Water-borne diseases are caused by organisms that live in or on the water and make people sick if they drink them. Commonly contracted diseases include cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery.
Cholera is caused by a single-celled organism called Vibrio cholerae, which lives in coastal waters around the world (including many places in the U.S.). This organism produces a toxin that causes diarrhea and vomiting unless treated immediately with antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline. However, most cases are not diagnosed until symptoms appear — which means that thousands of deaths occur each year unnecessarily because there was no way for them to know whether their drinking water was contaminated.
By purifying water, you’re lowering the risk of being affected by diseases like cholera or dysentery. Using purified water means there’s less than a 1% chance of these diseases affecting you.
Health Risks Associated with Drinking Contaminated Water
Drinking contaminated water can spread various intestinal and viral diseases, such as cholera, cryptosporidiosis (a parasitic protozoan), hepatitis A, and rotavirus diarrhea. Contaminated water may lead to the ingestion of parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium parvum, which cause gastrointestinal disorders and nausea in humans.
Bacterial infections are also common health risks associated with drinking contaminated water. These occur when bacteria grow in stagnant or polluted sources of drinking water, causing bacterial infections like cholera or dysentery (which is caused by E Coli).
Contaminated water can also lead to cancer, something that can be testified by the Camp Lejeune victims. The Camp Lejeune incident shows how contaminated water eventually led to people living in that area developing cancer. Many of them went on to die or are still suffering to this day. Victims of the incident have teamed up with lawyers and are working on the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement Amounts to seek justice and compensation for those affected by this incident.
How Water Pollution Is Growing Worse Every Day
Water pollution is becoming more of a problem every day. Water pollution is a global problem that affects both developed and developing countries, urban and rural areas alike. The amount of contaminants in the world’s oceans and waterways is growing worse every year as humanity grows increasingly careless with its waste products.
The main causes of water pollution are industrial activity (including oil spills), agricultural runoff (fertilizers and pesticides), municipal sewage, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, and poorly treated industrial effluents. All these sources can affect the water quality when they flow into natural waterways such as rivers or lakes. Water pollution is a serious issue. It has been growing worse over the past few decades, and it’s time we do something about it. While purifying your drinking water doesn’t solve the global issue of water pollution, it does keep you safe. So, start here, encourage others to do the same, and spread awareness about water pollution and its consequences.