What Is Water Disease?
Water & DiseasesWater is a gift of nature. The total amount of water on the earth is finite, while human's capacity for pollution is accelerating fast with the growth of population, agriculture & industry across the globe. Local water bodies may very quickly be exhausted and become polluted due to greed and ignorance; water can become a source of death and disease rather than life. Today, at least one-fifth of all people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. In developing countries, most cities discharge 80 to 90% of the untreated sewage directly into rivers and streams, which are used for drinking, washing and bathing. This lack of sewage treatment has allowed dangerous microorganism to spread water borne disease; particularly diseases transmitted by vectors which live in the water environment account for about a third of all deaths in the world.
The growing pollution of our rivers constitutes the biggest threat to public health. Polluted water lead to various gastrointestinal problems, liver infections, cancer, etc. Children are often the worst affected, dying in large numbers because of diarrhea.
Water-related diseasesThe water-related infections of man are extremely numerous and diverse. In general the following are the ways in which diseases may be carried by water.
1. Pathogenic organisms are transmitted from one person to another through their domestic water supply (e.g.) Cholera, typhoid and hepatitis.
2. Inadequate water supply, lack of personal cleanliness-(e.g.) trachoma and skin infection.
3. Infection transmitted by organism which lives in water-(e.g.) helminthes (parasitic flukes) that spends part of their life cycle in water.
4. Insects vectors which are related in some way to water transmit infection (e.g.) Yellow fever, malaria etc.
Why to Allow any Contaminants in Drinking Water?All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants, because water is the universal solvent, many materials are easily dissolved upon contact. At low levels, these contaminants generally are not harmful in our drinking water. Removing all contaminants would be extremely expensive and in nearly all cases would not provide greater protection of health. A few of the naturally occurring substances may actually improve the taste of drinking water and may have nutritional values at low levels.
Sources of Water PollutantsDirect Additions
1. Discharge of domestic, industrial or agricultural effluents.
2. Direct application of herbicides to control water plants that interfere with human's use for freshwaters.
3. Direct application of insecticides to fresh water to destroy larvae of mosquitoes, the vector of malaria.
4. Molluscicides widely used in the tropics to control the snail vectors of schistosomiasis.
Indirect additions1. Run-off of insecticides and herbicides applied to the land.
2. Carelessly dumped waste pesticides and their empty containers in pools or streams.
3. Land fill sites and toxic waste dumps contaminate ground water.
Types of pollutants found in waterOrganic pollutants, Inorganic pollutants, Thermal pollutants, Radioactive materials.
Watered Down SafetyYou drink a glass of water that looks safe and tastes okay, and you don't feel any the worse afterwards. So what's the worry about the water? The problem is that diseases do not develop all of a sudden. Contaminants damage cells little by little, yet it may take years, or even decades, for the whole organ to fail or for tests to find cancer. This is why safe water is of such importance. You drink water every day, yet you may not know for 50 years whether the water you drank was good or bad for you. Actually, you will never know if it was the water, the food, the air, or bad luck. Here are some alarming statistics. The National Resources Defense Council (a nonprofit, public environment watchdog agency) reports that over two-third of the nation's water treatment plants are obsolete and perhaps unsafe. Depletion of dissolved oxygen (the recommended do level for natural water is 4 to 6 ppm).