Through a Glass Darkly: The Dangers of Drinking Contaminated Water


Did you know that more people die each year due to contaminated drinking water than from all forms of violence, including war? Water contamination is a serious concern, and while it might not always cause death, there are some serious symptoms tied to drinking dirty water. If you are unsure about the cleanliness of your water, or if there is only a single water source, it is important that you know if it is safe to drink.

Keep reading to find out how to identify if you’re drinking contaminated water.

Symptoms of Drinking Contaminated Water

It is important to note that your overall health, age, and physical condition will determine how you experience these symptoms. Some of the symptoms that are tied to drinking contaminated water include:

  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Intestinal or Stomach Cramping
  • Intestinal or Stomach Aches and Pains
  • Dehydration
  • Death

While it is possible to consume contaminated water without symptoms, it does not mean there are no long-term effects.

Diseases Transmitted Through Dirty Water

There are various diseases that can be transmitted through contaminated drinking water, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid
  • Polio

Salmonella is one of the most common bacteria found in dirty water, which can cause a variety of illnesses. While these illnesses will usually pass without the need for treatment, it is possible that medical care might be needed. Salmonella can also be transmitted from person to person, so the person drinking the contaminated water isn’t the only ones at risk.

The Dangers of Dehydration

While it seems counterintuitive, drinking contaminated water can lead to dehydration. This is because if you become ill due to the dirty water, your body will become dehydrated as it fights off the illness. It is also possible that the dirty water has a strange taste to it, making you less likely to drink more water than absolutely needed.

How Can I Tell if My Water Is Safe?

The easiest way to determine if your drinking water is safe is through a water test. These tests can be done through experienced water purification companies who will be able to advise you on the next steps you need to take if your water is contaminated. If you are worried about the state of your drinking water, consider installing a sampling station to avoid cross-contamination when testing your water.

While you wait for a water test, you should boil your water before drinking it just to be safe.

Be Safe: Test Your Water

Drinking contaminated water can have some serious health implications and can even lead to death, so making sure your water is safe to drink is crucial. Testing your water for contamination and taking the necessary precautions can end up saving your life. Rather be safe instead of sorry.

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