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How Important Is Water Quality for Your Health?

water quality

Having safe drinking water provides many benefits and improves quality of life. With Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, as well as each state’s own water regulations, many communities across the United States enjoy clean drinking water. However, water contamination can still happen, which can cause many different illnesses.

Clean water brings many health benefits, such as:

  • Better digestion.
  • Regulates a normal body temperature.
  • Helps move nutrients and oxygen through the blood.
  • Helps control the nervous system.
  • Helps heart function.

Good water quality is even beneficial to the home as well. Many household appliances, such as a dishwasher or water heater, rely on softened water to run efficiently, saving energy. Poor water quality can calcify and harden, causing damage to these appliances, as well as the home’s pipes and sewage system.

What Are the Effects of Water Contamination?

Poor water quality or contaminated water can cause adverse effects, some even fatal. On rare occasions, bacteria-carrying microbes can infiltrate a water supply, causing a myriad of health issues, such as:

  • Fever
  • Kidney failure
  • Digestive problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches

Water contaminated with pollutants, pesticides, or other chemicals can cause serious diseases or disabilities that can be permanent or even fatal. Cancer, hepatitis, and some autoimmune diseases are linked to polluted water. There is also a high probability of skin discoloration or reproductive issues. For children and babies, exposure to contaminated water can lead to developmental issues.

Experts agree that there are likely other adverse health effects caused by lower doses of poor water quality, but those illnesses are not fully understood. Also, many illnesses caused by poor water quality are often underreported, or the sick person is not aware of the cause of their illness.

What Causes Water Contamination?

Although there are many EPA regulations protecting public water supplies, contamination is still a risk. It is important to understand that the EPA does not monitor water from private wells. Private wells are more common in older parts of the United States.

With many homes surrounded by businesses, factories, and industrial areas, water contamination remains a very strong possibility. Sewage or chemical runoff from businesses can seep into the ground if not properly disposed of, where it runs into streams and rivers, which eventually reaches to water supplies.

Other sources and their pollutants include:

  • Industries such as agriculture use pesticides and solvents that could then find their way into aquifers. Fertilizers are also a concern, as they are often used to enhance growth in product but runoff into streams and nearby water sources.
  • Natural chemicals found in the soil, such as arsenic or uranium, can be harmful to humans in large doses. Construction nearby can cause larger than normal quantities of these chemicals into drinking water just by disturbing the environment.
  • Manufacturing wastes like plastics, metals, or cyanide can infiltrate a water system when companies do not dispose of them properly.
  • Malfunctioning sewage or septic systems can cause human and animal waste to backflow into groundwater.
  • Older houses and businesses used lead pipes within their walls, and when they corrode, they could contaminate the water supply for that building. Even more modern buildings now use copper piping, which can also leave harmful biproducts. Contaminants could still reach a water supply even after going through a filtration system.

How Do I Know My Water Is Contaminated?

To keep yourself and your family safe, it is important to know what to look for should something happen to your water or if you feel sick. The best way to see if your water is unsafe is to monitor it yourself. Some steps you should take include:

  • Inspect: Inspect your water, as it may be obvious there is something wrong. Sometimes, water will look orange or brown if it has any contaminates. It could also have a strange, metallic taste or a funny odor. Purchasing a water filtration system will help rid of most pollutants, but some are harder to eliminate than others. You should contact an expert, and have your water tested regularly.
  • Test: It might be best to have your water tested at a lab. The EPA regulates the number of contaminants that are likely to be found in drinking water, such as certain metals and salmonella. Even if some of these are found in your water, it may be at such a low amount that it may not have an effect at all. You can also obtain a consumer confidence report from your local water supplier to find out about its source, the quality, and what contaminants are in your water.
  • Get help: If you do feel ill, it is best to contact your doctor immediately. They will likely determine if your illness is from poor water quality or something else. It is also possible that you may have an underlying health problem that has only become known because of poor water quality.

Should you find an issue with your water supply or have fallen ill and believe it stems from poor water quality, you may want to consult a lawyer. A lawyer can explain what action you should take to remedy your problem.

Delaware Water Contamination Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Protect Your Right to Safe Drinking Water

Having safe and clean drinking water is essential to your health and well-being. If you believe your water supply is contaminated, speak with our Delaware water contamination lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. immediately. Our skilled legal team will protect your rights. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.