Diseases caused by contaminated drinking water


* Cholera    -    Spread by the bacterium Vibrio cholera - Symptoms include very watery diarrhoea, nausea, cramps, nosebleed, rapid pulse, vomiting,      and hypovolemic shock (in severe cases), at which point death can occur in 12-18 hours.

* E.coli Infection    -    Certain strains of Escherichia coli (commonly E.coli) - Mostly diarrhoea; Can cause death in immune compromised individuals, the very young, and the elderly due to dehydration from prolonged illness.


* Botulism    -    - Clostridium Botulinum - Bacteria can enter a wound from contaminated water sources. Can enter the gastrointestinal tract by consuming contaminated drinking water or (more commonly) food.

* Campylobacteriosis   -   Most commonly caused by Campylobacter jejuni - Drinking water contaminated with feces. Produces dysentery like symptoms along with a high fever. Usually lasts 2-10 days. In severe forms it is known to be one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses.


* Poliomyelitis (Polio)    -    Poliovirus -    Enters water through the feces of infected individuals. 90-95% of patients show no symptoms, 4-8% have minor symptoms (comparatively) with delirium, headache, fever, and occasional seizures, and spastic paralysis. 1% have symptoms of non-paralytic aseptic meningitis. The rest have serious symptoms resulting in paralysis or death.

* Hepatitis A    -    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) - Can manifest itself in water (and food). Symptoms are only acute (no chronic stage to the virus) and include Fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, weight loss, itching, jaundice and depression.

* Adenovirus infection    -    Adenovirus - Manifests itself in improperly treated water. Symptoms include common cold symptoms, pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis

* Gastroenteritis    -    Astrovirus, Calcivirus, Enteric Adenovirus, and Parvovirus - Manifests itself in improperly treated water. Symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fever, malaise, and abdominal pain.

* SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)    -    Manifests itself in improperly treated water. Symptoms include fever, myalgia, lethargy, gastrointestinal symptoms, cough, and sore throat.

* Polyomavirus infection    -    Two of Polyomavirus: JC virus and BK virus - Very widespread, can manifest itself in water; ~80% of the population has antibodies to Polyomavirus.  BK virus produces a mild respiratory infection and can infect the kidneys of immunosuppressed transplant patients. JC virus infects the respiratory system, kidneys or can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in the brain (which is fatal). 


* Schistosomiasis (immersion)   -    Members of the genus Shistosoma - Fresh water contaminated with certain types of snails that carry schistosomes. Rash or itchy skin. Fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches.

* Dracunculiasis (guinea Worm Disease)    -    Dracunculus medinensis - Stagnant water containing larvae. Allergic reaction, urticarial rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, asthmatic attack.

* Taeniasis    -    Tapeworms of the genus Taenia - Drinking water contaminated with eggs. Intestinal disturbances, neurologic manifestations, loss of weight, cysticercosis.

* Fasciolopsiasis    -    Fasciolopsis buski - Drinking water contaminated with encysted metacercaria. GIT disturbance, diarrhoea, liver enlargement, cholangitis, cholecystitis, obstructive jaundice.

* Hypemolepiasis (Draft Tapeworm Infection)    -    Hymenolepis nana - Drinking water contaminated with eggs. Abdominal pain, anorexia, itching around the anus, nervous manifestation.

* Echinococcosis (Hydatid disease)    -    Echinococcus granulosus - Drinking water contaminated with feces (usually canid) containing eggs. Liver enlargement, hydatid cysts press on bile duct and blood vessels; if cysts rupture they can cause anaphylactic shock. 

* Coenurosis    -    Multiceps multiceps - contaminated drinking water with eggs. increases intacranial tension.

* Ascariasis    -    Ascaris lumbricoides   - Drinking water contaminated with feces (usually canid) containing eggs.

* Enterobiasis    -    Enterobius vermicularis    - Drinking water contaminated with eggs.  Peri-anal itch, nervous irritability, hyperactivity and insomnia.


* Amoebiasis (Hand to mouth)    -    Protozoan (Entamoeba histolytica) - (Cyst-like appearance).  Sewage, non-treated drinking water, flies in water supply. Abdominal discomfort, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhoea, bloating, fever.

* Cryptosporidiosis (oral)    -    Protozoan (Cryptosporidium parvum) - Collects on water filters and membranes that cannot be disinfected, animal manure, seasonal runoff water. Flu-like symptoms, watery diarrhoea, loss of appetite, substantial loss of weight, bloating, increased gas, nausea.

* Cyclosporiasis    -    Protozoan parasite (Cyclospora cayetanensis) - Sewage, non-treated drinking water. Cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue.

* Giardiasis (oral-fecal) (hand-to-mouth)    - Protozoan (Giardia lamblia) Most common intestinal parasite - Untreated water, poor disinfection, pipe breaks, leaks, groundwater contamination, campgrounds where humans and wildlife use same source of water. Beavers and muskrats create ponds that act as reservoirs for Giardia.  Diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence.

* Microsporidiosis    -    Protozoan phylum (Microsporidia), but closely related to fungi  - The genera of Encephalitozoon intestinalis has been detected in groundwater, the origin of drinking water. Diarrhoea and wasting in immunocompromised individuals.

Water is Life

All existence on the entire "BLUE PLANET" Earth is depending upon water.

We treat water as a consumer product, dust bin, source of energy, means of transportation, recreation, business product. We forgot to understand water, and to protect and appreciate it as a living element - like the earth herself which is feeding us, the sun which is giving us light and warmth, and the air which we breathe.

Children need much water.

In the developing countries most children do not die because of lack of food but because of dehydration. Children should be edcudated early, and enabled to drink enough good water. This is especially important when they have fever. As a general rule it is said that for each 1/2 degree of fever, a child should drink an additional 1/2 litre of water. A child can be at most for half a day to one day without water; after that he/she will quickly lose energy and substance.

How much water should we drink?

At least 2 litres of drinking water during the day!

This does not include anything else that we drink, like tea, coffee, juice, soda, beer, milk etc. These beverages are not substitute for drinking water. (Coffe for example has a strong dehydrating effect in the body).

Indications for water deficiency - dehydration:

* Chronic fatigue * Dark urine                                 * High algesia                        
* Digestive disorder: constipation,    heartburn,   gastritis
* Depression * Heart complaint * Pain in the legs
* Localized pain "without any reason"      * Headache * Depression
* Asthma * Problems falling asleep * High blood pressure


Boiling water

Here is an approximate calculation:

Let's say, there is a boarding school with 1000 children which must be supplied with drinking water and the school provides only 1 liter per person:

In order to kill bacteria, drinking water should be boiled at 100° C for 3 minutes at sea level. A general rule states that 1 minute further boiling is required for each additional 150m above sea level. Thus, if the altitude is around 1.200m, as is Kampala, water should be boiled for 10-12 minutes. The UNBS even recommends to boil water 30 to 45 minutes in order to be on the safe side.  In most areas in Africa, where there is no public water supply, and even if there is public or National Water supply, the only practice for preparing drinking water is to boil it. Fire wood or charcoual is generally used.

How much does it cost to boil water in UGANDA? (if the fire wood has to be bought)

Brenda Nansubuga from Wakiso Town, Uganda (a district town 18 km north-west of Kampala), made a boiling test to calculate how much wood is needed and the cost of preparing 50 litres of drinking water by boiling. Because there is no fire wood nearby, she had to buy it from people who provide it from upcountry.

To boil this 50 litres of water, she needed firewood for the price of 5.000 Uganda Shillings UGX (about 1,90 Euro). This cost is so high, due to the very high cost of transportation in Uganda.


Because the boiling of drinking water is so expensive and practically very difficult to boil daily so much  water - boarding schools do not provide the drinking water - their studens would need.

The effect of this situation is, that children do not drink enough water or have to buy bottled water in the shops.

If we make now the calculation for the parents to buy 2 boxes of bottled water (which is 24 litres) per month with the cost of around 15.000 Uganda Schilling, this 1000 parents could buy the GAIA Bacteria Filter with the same money and have for many years free water for their children to drink in the school.


I (Herbert Bloder) tested boiling water with an electric kettle in my kitchen in Austria. In order to boil 10 litres of water for three minutes I needed 1,2 kilowatt electricity. Calculated this for 50 litres would be 6 kilowatt which makes 1,18 EUR.  However nobody in Austria boils his/her drinking water - it would be too expensive, as we have the highest quality of drinking water from the tap for 1,91 EUR per 1.000 litres.

Advantage of Ultrafiltration:

The deployment of ultrafiltration offers significant advantages over conventional water treatment methodes with 99.999% guarantee of bacteria-free drinking water.

* Removal of germs, bacteria, viruses, microorganismus and all types of suspended solids.

* No chemicals for filtering involved.

* Simple and save to operate and maintain.

* Long-lasting filter:  6-10 years, using a back flushing technology.





Comparison Reverse-Osmosis versus Ultrafiltration

* Strips out everything that is in the water   * Filters out bacteria, particles that are bigger than  0,02µm (0,000.02 mm)
* Water becomes very aggressive, able to   destroy metal pipes in the course of a    month to some years. * Water is clear and can be trasnported safely through any kind of material the pipes are made of (e.g. galvanized metal, copper, plastic).
* Destroys dental inlays in the mouth. * Inlays are save; the oxidation-film is not damaged in any way.
* Out of 1.000 litres of water, one only gets   from 400-600 litres; the rest is waste-water. * Only about 2,5% of the filtered water is needed for cleansing of the filters: from 1.000 litres, about 975 litres is usable for drinking as water that is clear, safe, free of - particles and any kind of bacteria - (including viruses and of cuorse also - legionella).
* Maintenance is very expensive - filters have to be changed a minimum once per year. * Maintenance costs are low - filters can be used a minimum of six years with regular usage.
* Concerning the de-mineralisation no detailed analysis has been made availabel of how this aggressive water can   impact the bones and general health. * As particles and any kind of bacteria are filtered out, all minerals and trace term elements remain in the water, thus this is not a point of discussion. There IS no negative influence on the bones or other aspect of human and animal health.