Waterborne impurities are one of the leading causes of health problems in the world. It’s been that way throughout history, on every continent, and in every culture. No one is immune to the effects of dirty water and the bacteria it harbors. Some of the better-known pathogens are:

  • Dysentery
  • Salmonella
  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A and E
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Traveler’s Diarrhea (AKA Montezuma’s revenge)

This list is by no means an exhaustive one. There are many more waterborne diseases out there. What all of them have in common is dirty, impure or contaminated water. E. coli and fecal coliform are bacteria that indicate the water has been contaminated by animal or human waste. Left untreated they can cause headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. People with weak immune systems such as the very old or very young will be at greater risk from these bacteria.

Life Expectancy

Areas of the world without proper water treatment facilities are known to have a negative impact on health outcomes, leading to shorter lifespans for the population overall in that area.

People living in rural districts in Pakistan, for instance, are at increased risk from unhygienic practices by the very doctors they go to for help with their illnesses because the lack of clean water turns hospitals and clinics into vectors for disease instead of places where they can be properly treated and eliminated.

People who are chronically ill from contaminated drinking water typically have a much short life expectancy than they would otherwise. When they are treated with medical instruments that are washed or cleaned in contaminated water, the problem gets worse.

Indicators Of Contaminated Water

Anyone who has ever had to deal with keeping the water clean in a swimming pool can tell you that a strong odor of chlorine is not a good sign. It doesn’t mean there is chlorine the water killing the bacteria and keeping the water clean. In fact, it means just the opposite.

There are two kinds of chlorine in a swimming pool, free chlorine and combined chlorine. The free chlorine is chlorine that is available to kill bacteria and remove impurities. The chlorine does its job by combining with those impurities and bacteria, producing chloramines, combined chlorine, which is what gives off the strong odor of chlorine in the water.

This same condition can exist in municipal water if insufficient quantities of chlorine are used to treat the water at the water treatment plant. If you smell chlorine in your tap water it means the chlorine has run out or been overwhelmed by the number of contaminants and the water is no longer safe to drink.

Filtration Systems For The Home

When city or municipal water treatment plants are insufficient (or absent altogether) people need to find a way to purify their own drinking water. Since areas with water problems also tend to have difficulties with reliable electricity, leading to frequent outages and rolling blackouts, the filtration method needs to be one that will operate without electricity.

The right water filtration device should be one that that is easy to operate, doesn’t require electricity, and works reliably to purify water. A water purifier is a device that removes impurities from water. It can be a filter or a chemical process or a combination of both.

Pour And Go

The Water Geeks have a selection of water purification pitchers that clean the water by straining it through special filters. As water is put into the pitch, from the tap, a garden hose, or from a jug that was dipped into a river or stream, it flows down through the filter which cleans it and increasing the pH level at the same time.

When you pour the water out of the pitcher into a glass, it’s ready for drinking. The useful life span of the filters varies by manufacturer. Some will purify around 40 gallons of water before they have to be replaced. Others will purify almost 100 gallons of water before being replaced. The ones with the greater capacity will be more expensive, of course.

Water Supply Problems

Impure water is a critical indicator of health risks in any region of the world experiencing problems with the water supply. Since these regions are also usually experiencing other infrastructure problems as well, filtration pitchers that can purify water “on the go” are the best short-term solution available. Clean water is a basic requirement for good health so a supply of these pitchers and their filters is a necessity.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Health Watch: Clean Water Is A Requirement," in Medicalopedia, May 27, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7497/health-watch-clean-water-is-a-requirement/].