Drinking Water

Douglas Wright

Ideally you want your tap water to be free of bacteria, parasites, and other chemicals harmful to the human body. Throughout the world this is not the case even in the U.S. In many countries people are unable to drink their tap water due to it being contaminated or are forced to drink it out of pure necessity.

Parasites

These microscopic creatures are commonly found in untreated water. Contaminated water containing parasites can give anyone who drinks it diarrhea, nausea, and cramps, leading to very serious consequences including death.

Diseases

Another issue besides parasitic infestations would be contracting diseases. By drinking untreated water you can obtain diseases including but not limited to, Cholera, Fluorosis, Guinea worm disease, Intestinal Worms, Malaria, Trachoma, and Typhoid.

Treating Water

There are several methods that water purification plants use in order to clean out water. The first step includes screening or grinding large objects so that they do not clog the filters and other machines in the future steps. Then he second step can vary into three categories consisting of The fixed film system, The suspended film system, and the third method includes naturally killing bacteria and microorganisms over a long period of time. Then the final step will almost always be chlorination treatment. However, recently many companies have been installing UV lights in order to kill chlorine resistant bacteria.



If you are still unsure on whether your water is clean, you can purchase tests to see if you have bacteria, parasites, arsenic, or other harmful materials in it.

Lancaster, PA

In the past year several tests were conducted in order to ensure the quality of the water heading into our faucets. In 2014 it was found that between the Susquehanna River and the Conestoga River small amounts of barium, fluoride, nitrate, and uranium are in the water. Most of this is due to natural erosion that occurs and for the most part, is completely healthy.

Prevention

In order to keep yourself healthy from contaminated water you can take certain precautions. Never drink water from a stream, creek, or river unless you can filter it or can use purification tablets. This method can still be potentially dangerous so take care with doing this. When at your home test your tap water to see if it is healthy for human ingestion. If it is not healthy it is recommended to drink bottled water until your tap water is healthy again. Drinking water is also suggested during large rainstorms as water overflows and may bring unwanted microorganisms to your drinks. Another important warning is to never drink salt water as it will dehydrate you causing more problems within your body.