Waterborne Diseases and Their Impact on Society

Contaminants

The term waterborne diseases is reserved largely for infections that are predominantly transmitted through contact with or consumption of infected water.

Water quality has always been a concern to all of us, no matter where we live. When it comes to protecting your health from unsafe drinking water, it is vital to know as much as possible about the types of waterborne cysts, bacteria and viruses.

What Causes Waterborne Diseases?

These diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that most commonly are transmitted in contaminated fresh water. Infection mostly results during bathing, washing, drinking, in the preparation of food, or the consumption of food thus infected.

The most prominent examples of infection include various forms of waterborne diarrheal disease, which affect mainly children in developing countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Types of Infections

Microorganisms causing disease that characteristically are waterborne include protozoa, bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The most common symptoms for these infections are represented by:

  • abdominal discomfort
  • abdominal pain
  • allergic reactions
  • bloating
  • blurred and/or double vision
  • cramps
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • flatulence
  • itches and rashes
  • liver enlargement
  • loss of weight
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • nervous manifestations
  • vomiting

Socioeconomic Impact

Waterborne diseases can have a significant impact on the economy, locally, as well as internationally. The less developed countries are usually confronted with related costs and not seldom with a huge financial burden. Financial losses are mostly caused by:

  • loss of manpower
  • costs for transport and special food
  • costs for medical treatment and medication

In developing countries, 4/5 of all the illnesses are caused by waterborne diseases, with diarrhea being the leading cause of childhood death. Some 1.1 billion people still lack access to improved drinking water sources and some 2.4 billion to adequate sanitation. The prevalence of waterborne diseases can be greatly reduced by provision of clean drinking water and safe disposal of feces. Water disinfection is used to prevent the growth of pathogenic organisms and to protect public health.

Common Methods of Water Purification

The 2 most common methods to kill microorganisms in the water supply are: oxidation with chemicals (chlorine, chlorine dioxide or ozone) and irradiation with ultra violets. Chlorine is universally accepted as a safe and effective water disinfectant. Becoming popular in the 1920’s, free chlorine (hypochlorous acid) is the most commonly used method of water purification in the world, saving millions of lives since it became popular to use.

As for UVs, the rays are known to prevent multiplying of organisms due to the disruption of their DNA/RNA. It is a truly chemical-free method of treating water for potability.

Home Water Treatments

More and more people are opting to use a home water treatment device. There are many different types of water treatment products on the market so it is important to first identify your specific water quality concerns. Home treatment water devices come in a wide range of styles, from plumbed-in systems (find more info here), to pour-through water pitchers and faucet-mount filters.

Before purchasing, verify that the system is tested and certified to meet your specific contaminant reduction needs. Most residential water systems require some type of regular maintenance or replacement of the entire unit after a certain number of gallons. Keep in mind that you will need to follow the manufacturer’s installation and maintenance instructions carefully in order to provide your family with the best protection.

About Dime Water

In today’s world, you cannot be too careful about your water supply. Almost daily, a new contamination chemical is being identified or added to a government “hit list”. As a water treatment manufacturer in San Diego, we specialize in designing and constructing products to fit the needs of our customers since 1994. Over the years, we have met and exceeded the critical expectations of customers such as GM, NASA, Mitsubishi, US Army and the University of Tokyo, as well as thousands of home owners and small businesses. Call us today at 760.734.5787 and talk to one of our experts!

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