Ensuring access to clean water is vital for our survival, yet millions worldwide lack this basic necessity. Regular water in most parts of the world is polluted with different contaminants like pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, and many more. Polluted water is also commonly referred to as dirty water.
Consuming water that is contaminated with this kind of toxic impurities can pose serious health threats to human health. In this article, we are going to discuss the dangers of dirty water in detail, along with some methods/solutions through which you can keep the water clean.
However, before heading towards, let’s get familiar with the major sources of dirty water.
Sources of Dirty Water
There are numerous sources that contribute to making the water dirty; some of the major ones are discussed below:
1. Industrial wastage:
In this modern world, industries are becoming too common, even in residential areas. Although these can be good for the economy, but not for the environment and naturally occurring sources like water.
Industrial activities such as manufacturing and chemical production can release harmful substances into nearby rivers, lakes, and groundwater and end up making them dirty.
2. Agriculture runoff:
This is another source that contributes to making the regular water dirty. The use of fertilizers, pesticides, and many more in agriculture can also pollute the water. And when it rains, the chemical fertilizers are washed from the fields, and end eventually end up getting their way into the water.
3. Sewage problems:
Untreated and improperly treated sewage is also a major source of dirty water. Generally, sewage contains toxic bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can result in severe waterborne diseases.
Inadequate sewage infrastructure or improper disposal can result in sewage entering into naturally occurring water sources like rivers, lakes, etc., and end up making it contaminated.
This is the final source of dirty water we will be discussing today. Illegal dumping or improper disposal of wastes in landfills will contaminate both the groundwater and nearby resources.
So, these are some of the most common sources through which regular water becomes dirty. By addressing these strategies, we can ensure that underground water sources are completely safe and clean.
Dangers of Dirty Water
Dirty water poses significant dangers to human health due to the presence of various contaminants. Let’s delve into the specific dangers in more detail:
1. Bacterial Infections:
Dirty water commonly contains harmful bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, etc. Consuming contaminated water with these kinds of bacteria can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems.
Moreover, sometimes, these infections can be life-threatening, especially for those people who have a weak immune system.
2. Chemical Contaminants:
Lead, arsenic, mercury, and other forms of industrial pollution can be found in dirty water. Prolonged exposure to these may result in many health complications.
For example, lead poisoning can affect learning among children and result in brain damage among adults. Skin lesions, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases are associated with arsenic exposure.
3. Waterborne Disease:
Diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, and guinea worm sickness develop by consuming dirty water. These diseases spread fast if human or animal waste contaminates water supplies.
Without any treatment, such diseases can cause fatal electrolyte imbalances, severe dehydration, and even death.
4. Parasitic Infection:
Giardia and Cryptosporidium parasites are commonly found in contaminated water sources. They can cause gastrointestinal illnesses with symptoms like chronic diarrhea, stomachache, vomiting, and dehydration.
People whose immune systems have been compromised are at a greater risk of suffering from severe consequences.
5. Long-Term Health Effects:
As time passes, the consequences of constantly consuming dirty water can be severe. For example, ongoing exposure to heavy metals or chemicals may result in the following:
- Cancer risks
- Hormonal imbalances
- Organ damage
- Neurological disorders
Therefore, it is crucial to address the dangers of drinking dirty water by implementing effective water treatment methods, improving sanitation practices, and encouraging access to safe or clean water sources.
6. Economic crisis for people:
Most of you will be wondering how dirty water can be a cause of economic crisis. Keep reading; you will find it. Diseases or health issues caused by consuming dirty water will result in increased healthcare costs, reduced productivity and efficiency of the affected person, etc.
And do you know? Treating contaminated water is expensive, which will definitely put an additional burden on the Government.
To mitigate the effects of these dangers, you should keep opting for the right solutions that are discussed below in detail.
How to Keep the Water Clean – 3 Ways
Below are some ways through which you can make the dirty water completely safe and clean to use.
1. By boiling:
Boiling water is among the most effective methods for killing bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are harmful. Boil the water for at least 5-10 minutes is recommended. This method can come in handy during emergencies when clean water sources may be scarce.
However, remember, boiling the dirty water will only remove bacteria and certain microorganisms. It will not remove chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxic contaminants.
2. Using a water filter:
Water filters can generally remove contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and chemicals in water. There are several available types of water filters, including activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, undersink filters, countertop filters, and many more.
Choose a filter that suits your needs and refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on installation and maintenance.
3. Properly Storing Water:
It is advisable that water should be kept in clean and covered containers to avoid contamination. These containers should preferably be made of food-grade material and have well-fitting lids.
By using these ways, you can ensure the water you are consuming for bathing, cooking, or drinking purposes is totally clean and safe.
Dirty water has become a global concern because of industrial, agricultural, and sewage pollution. Consuming dirty water can result in severe health issues that we have discussed above. Besides this, we have also discussed some ways that you can adopt to make dirty water clean and safe.