How safe is our drinking water & How to combat diseases spread through water

Author: Michael Brodsky
Safeguarding the quality of fresh water is significant for the food production, drinking-water supply and recreational water use. Presence of toxic chemicals, infectious agents and radiological hazards can contaminate water. Polluted water could cause the outbreak of a variety of deadly diseases to the underdeveloped countries with inadequate sanitary practices. Industrialized, developed countries also have significant public health problems caused by use of untreated or inadequately treated domestic water supplies.

Here are certain points that provide a better insight into how food and water borne diseases are spread, detected and combated.
1. Best practices for risk-reduction
The best practice for reducing the risks caused by contaminated water is initiation of chlorination of domestic water supplies. Incidence of major outbreaks of the classical waterborne diseases caused by bacteria, such as cholera and typhoid fever, has become very low in developed countries. However, outbreaks of waterborne diseases still occur.
2. Transmission of Etiological Agents to man
Etiological agents are transmitted to man through the consumption or use of contaminated water in food preparation or processing. Inadequately cooked shellfish or fish from areas where the waters or sediment contain human pathogens and food crops grown on land irrigated with contaminated domestic wastewater, treatment plant sludge, or inadequately composted animal manure could also cause the entry of infectious bacteria into man.
3. Pathogens of concern in water
Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli (Pathogenic strains), Vibrio, Klebsiella, Campylobacter, Legionella, Pseudomonas. Norwalk-like viruses, Enteroviruses (poliovirus, coxsackievirus, echovirus), Rotavirus, Hepatitis A. Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba, Cyclospora and Toxoplasma.
4. Origins of etiological agents
Etiological agents could originate from the fecal material of infected/carrier individuals, fecal material of healthy, asymptomatic individuals or the fecal material of other animals.
5. Standard methods for testing water & wastewater
Tests for the detection and enumeration of indicator organisms rather than of pathogens are used. The coliform group of bacteria is the principle indicator of suitability of water for domestic, industrial, or other uses.
6. Drinking Water Quality
E. coli is the indicator of first choice when resources for microbiological examination are limited. Because enteroviruses and the resting stages of cryptosporidium, Giardia, amoebae, and other parasites are known to be more resistant to disinfection than E. coli …, the absence of the organism will not necessarily indicate freedom from the former.

Please submit the form

what would you like to do?