Beware of These 3 Water-borne Diseases

contaminated water

Beware of These 3 Water-borne Diseases

Water-borne diseases are the illnesses caused by infected or contaminated water. The contaminants include microorganisms such as virus and bacteria. It is also can be caused by other factor, like high content of metals present in water as the result of unhygienic filtration process.

So, what exactly causes water-borne diseases and what can we do to prevent the transmission of the disease?

Image source: npr


people retrieving contaminated water

Water-borne diseases usually take place where there is poor quality of water. The concerning part is, not only that water-borne diseases are caused by clean water, but also drinking water that people may consume in daily basis.

Climate change plays a big role in water-borne diseases outbreak. Natural events like rainfall and snowfall can be the contributing factors which cause the water-borne diseases outbreak. Not to mention that these days, the climate changes are not too predictable. We are aware that some days, the weather is too hot; while some other days, it’s raining every single day. When the temperature undergoes rapid changes in short amount of time, it affects the microorganism reproduction where the number of microorganisms causing water-borne diseases could get out of control, resulting the poor quality of clean water.

We know that not all people have the access of bottled water as their drinking water. According to World Health Organization (WHO) about 844 million people still lack in drinking-water services, meaning they still have to count on surface water as the source of their drinking water. Additionally, at least 2 billion people utilize drinking water source that is contaminated with feces. These body of water is contaminated with various pathogen bacteria which can transmit water-borne diseases very easily, if the water is not processed properly.

3 Most Common Water-borne Diseases

illustration of kid having stomachache


Diarrhea is the most well-known water-borne disease that is happening around the world. The symptoms include dizziness, dehydration, pale skin, and loss of consciousness in severe cases. Children below five years of age are vulnerable catching this disease. According to a study, globally, there has been an increase of diarrhea incidence in children during 2015-2017. The transmission of this water-borne disease is usually through drinking water.


Cholera is caused by bacteria called Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria itself can be present in a body of water that is contaminated by feces. This water-borne disease can be fatal within days (or even hours) of exposure of the bacteria. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle cramps. The transmission of cholera is usually through drinking water and clean water that is used in our daily activities.


Tooth/skeletal damage is caused by high level of naturally-occurring arsenic and fluoride in water. The excess fluoride that is being ingested can cause fluorosis which affects teeth and bones. Long-term effect of ingesting high level of fluoride causes dental defects that lead to severe skeletal problems. Early symptoms of skeletal fluorosis include stiffness and pain in the joints, while severe cases have the risk of the change of bone structure, calcification of ligaments, resulting in impairment muscle and pain.


Contaminated clean water and drinking water usually causes water-borne diseases that mess up with our digestive system. Clean water and drinking water that we use must fulfill certain requirements like physical, microbiological, and chemical parameters. The physical parameters include color, smell, and pH level. The microbiological parameter include the number of pathogen microorganism like Vibrio cholerae and E.coli. Meanwhile the chemical parameters usually the level of certain metal and nonmetal elements present in water, such as the level of iron, manganese, magnesium, and fluoride.

Water filtration process
Water filtration process

When the water does not meet those parameters, it is considered as contaminated, which is unsafe to use especially if the water is used for drinking water. The easiest and simplest way to avoid water-borne diseases is through boiling it. Boiling the water can help reduce or even diminish all the contaminants (especially the microbiological ones) so the water is safe to use.

Although, there will be more efficient if there is a water-filtration tool to process the water. Water filtration tool usually filter the contaminants present in water through several process so we can be more assured that the water meets all the parameters.

More articles regarding this topic:

No Comments

Post A Comment