The Effects of Drinking Contaminated Water and/or Dirty Water(Updated 3/19/2018)

Drinking contaminated water sources and/or dirty water can cause numerous health concerns.

Read more to increase your awareness.

Water contamination can occur to city water supplies, well water supplies, and fresh water sources, such as lakes, streams, and rivers. Consuming contaminated water can cause numerous effects.

Are you concerned about contaminants in your home’s water? Do you know if you can safely drink the water in your home? The first step is to conduct a water test from a trusted provider to further understand your water quality.


Signs/Symptoms of Drinking Contaminated Water

First, it’s important to know the health effects people experience may or may not present themselves immediately. Further, factors such as the overall health, age, and physical condition of the person determine the extent of the actual effects experienced. Some of the more commonly reported problems experienced from drinking impure water include, but are not limited to, the following waterborne illnesses:

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

Keep in mind, just because no signs or symptoms are experienced, it does not mean there are no potential long term effects.


For example, if water sources are contaminated with radium or radon gas, you might not notice an immediate health effects. However, long term exposure has been linked to cancer and heart disease.  Other possible contaminates found in tainted water sources are:

  • E. coli Bacteria
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Nitrates
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Arsenic
  • Radium
  • Radon
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Chemicals
  • Fecal Matter
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Petrochemicals

Contaminants can enter water supplies through various means. For instance,  the ground absorbs contaminants. The absorbed materials contaminate ground water sources, broken pipes, and excess water run-off during heavy rain periods.

Does Dirty/Contaminated Water Smell?

In some cases the water could smell or taste different. However, many contaminants have no taste or odor. This leaves no indication of contamination.

Will Boiling Water Help Make It Safe?

Boiling does kill most types of parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Additionally, it  increases concentrations of other contaminants due to evaporation of water.


How Can I Tell if My Water Is Actually Safe?

One of the easiest ways to find out if your tap water is safe and contaminant free is a water test.  An experienced water purification company in your area is able to perform water tests. Furthermore, you can perform water tests  on city and well water used for residential, commercial, and retail purposes. The test results will let you know exactly what is in your water. Second, the test will determine what steps you can take to improve it. One important step is  getting quality water softeners and water filters installed, such as the HagueWaterMax®, in your home or business.

Finally, for more information about water testing or to find out what type of filtration and water softener system is best for your home or business, contact Hague Water Of MD at (410) 757-2992 or (410) 213-2380.

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