Most of us will avoid drinking well or tap water in certain countries. There are, however, times when we may be affected by contaminated water without realising it. Before examining the health effects of drinking contaminated water, let’s look at some of the most common causes of water contamination and the contaminants that may be present.
Causes of water contamination
Water supplies may be contaminated by:
- Naturally occurring minerals or chemicals (like uranium, radon or arsenic, for example)
- Land use practices (concentrated feeding, pesticides, fertilisers, etc.)
- Manufacturing processes
- Wastewater release or sewer overflows
Lack of or inadequate maintenance on septic systems or water systems in hotels, spas and other public facilities may also cause illness due to contaminated water.
Contaminants may consist of minerals and chemicals (including excess fluoride, pesticides, herbicides) or nitrates seeping into water due to farming activities or faulty septic systems. Other contaminants may consist of bacteria or viral agents including:
- Campylobacter, copper or cryptosporidium
- Coli, giardia or hepatitis A
- Legionella, norovirus, salmonella or shigella
Any of these contaminants can cause more or less severe infections.
Health effects of drinking contaminated water
The health effects of drinking contaminated water are similar to those of food poisoning infections and can range from minor cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting to serious gastrointestinal illnesses, neurological disorders and reproductive problems.
What to do if you suspect an infection
If you believe you are suffering from the health effects of drinking contaminated water, you should first of all seek immediate medical assistance, as some of these conditions can be fatal if left untreated. Your next step is to try to determine when and where you may have been exposed to contaminated water. This will not only make it possible for you to claim compensation from the person or authority responsible for your water-related illness, but may also help prevent others from being affected.
How to claim
Operating under a conditional (no-win, no-fee*) agreement, we, Accident Advice Helpline, can help you:
- Find out who is responsible for your illness related to contaminated water
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Bring your case to a satisfactory conclusion fast
Able to deal with most claim process over the phone, we may even be able to settle your claim without the need for you to attend court (please note that this cannot be guaranteed).
Call our helpline
To learn more and/or get a claim set into motion, call us now on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 (respective numbers for calls from UK landlines or mobiles).
Date Published: February 20, 2017
Author: Accident Advice