Millions of individuals around the globe lack access to a clean water supply and drink from supply sources that are corrupted by fertilizers, pesticides, sewage or feces.

And while these problems may often be associated with developing countries and rural areas, people living in big city aren’t safe either. In fact, many cities are confronted with terrible issues regarding the contamination of water bodies because of pollution, and little do they know that drinking a glass of tap water every morning endangers their health.

Privately-owned sources are controlled by homeowners or landlords and they don’t always see to the safety or well-being of consumers. Streams or rivers aren’t properly drilled, not to mention that the initial quality of the liquid isn’t verified.

Daily exposure to unfiltered tap water can have serious health repercussions in the long run, even if you might not notice negative symptoms at first. For children and people with pre-existing immune or digestive conditions, the risk is even higher, so it’s very important to know what diseases can be caused by drinking polluted water.

Diarrheal diseases

The second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 is diarrheal disease. This commonly reported illness is characterized by having loose or liquid bowel movements every day. Diarrhea occurs as the result of infectious organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

Contaminated water is filled with bacteria and parasites, which in turn cause diarrheal disease. What happens is that the bacteria or the parasite inflames the intestine. It’s harder if not impossible for the food to pass through at a fast rate, so there is less time for the assimilation of water. The lining of the intestine can also be innerved and secrete more fluid.

Waterborne viruses can also bring about loose, watery stools. The association is commonly acknowledged by the scientific community.  Regular individuals find it harder to understand that their unpleasant symptoms are caused by consuming dirty or polluted water and pass the blame to heavy foods or unrecommend food associations. It’s important to understand that drinking water from any supply isn’t okay. Unless the water source has been proven to be safe, drinking can turn out to be perilous. Just to be on the safe side, it’s recommendable to boil the drinking water and avoid drinking from unsafe sources.

Lead poisoning

Homes that are constructed prior to 1990 most likely have lead pipes, which is scientifically proven to cause a series of chronic conditions after prolonged exposure. Lead poisoning poses a great many threats, being particularly harmful for kids. Common issues include, but aren’t limited to anemia, nervous system disorders, and kidney disease. When it’s ingested, lead transforms into poison. It’s transferred through the body similarly to calcium or zinc, so the lead can cause damage in any place.

If you live in an old building, make sure you call of team of experts to check the pipes for lead and replace them if necessary. And remember one of the first things you have learned in Chemistry lessons: water is clear, odorless and tasteless liquid. If you notice that the water you are about to drink has an odd taste, a slight colored hue or a metallic taste, do not drink it without boiling it.


Although it has been eradicated in the modern world, cholera is still a threat in developing countries. Caused by a bacteria called Vibrio cholerae, the intestinal infection is accompanied by physical manifestations like sickness in the stomach and vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Not many realize that cholera is an extremely dangerous illness. More often than not, it results in death. People who contract the infection, you can die within a few hours.


Chlamydia trachomatis causes a very serious eye infection. The eyes and the eyelids become irritated, the individual develops light sensitivity and, sometimes, pain. This bacterial infection is commonly referred to as trachoma. Trachoma is generally transmitted by flies. Nonetheless, it can spread due to poor sanitation. The connection between the eye infection and contaminated water is more complex than it seems at first glance.

It was discovered that individuals living at a small distance from a polluted supply source had less trachoma as compared to those with a contaminated water source at hand. What is certain is that dirty water can destroy a person’s health. Trachoma can lead to blindness. Trachoma spreads in places where there isn’t sufficient access to H20 or sanitation. Improvements in such areas inevitable result in reducing the disease transmission. Fresh water helps improve hygienic conditions.


One of the most common infections caused by drinking polluted water is dysentery. The causative agent is an invasive bacterium.  Bacillary dysentery can be found all over the world. Amoebic dysentery is just as common. Both of the illnesses are severe.

Mild stomach cramps are nothing to worry about. What you should be concerned about is blood in the feces and mils illness. What could happen if the dysentery is left untreated? Well, it can lead to the fluids leaving the body. When the body doesn’t have enough water, your life is at risk. If you happen to have symptoms of dysentery, you should make an appointment with your treating physician.

Anyone can end up drinking contaminated water. Let’s imagine the following scenario: you spend some time in nature when, suddenly, you get thirsty. If you haven’t brought a water bottle with you, you take the risk and drink from the nearby river. There’s nothing wrong with that except for the fact that human waste such as sewage contaminants have entered the stream. Taking into consideration that dehydration can occur fast, it’s recommendable to go see the doctor as soon as you notice alarming symptoms.

Since many infectious diseases are caused by germs found in polluted water, it’s important to drink fresh, clean water. Equally important is to wash your hands on a regular basis, because many infections can be prevented this way. Some experts recommend avoiding swimming in recreational areas, where it’s possible to ingest H2O by accident.

Polluted water causes millions of cases of illness each year, which is all the more reason to take preventative measures. It’s not impossible to control all medical conditions, but until current conditions improve, the only hope that sufferers have is to seek medical treatment and to be sure to take good care of themselves.