Facts about water

March 21, 2014

March 22 is World Water Day. The UN and its member nations devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world's water resources. In our article 'facts about water' you read everything you need to know about clean drinking water

March 22 is World Water Day. The UN and its member nations devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world's water resources.


Facts about water
Everything you need to know about clean drinking water

How does water get contaminated?
The causes of contaminated drinking water are often faeces of human beings and animals, and domestic or industrial waste. Contaminated water contains a variety of micro-organisms or chemicals.

Small organisms major consequences
Harmful protozoa (single-celled organisms), bacteria and viruses can be detected in water contaminated with faeces. We call them micro-organisms. Only one harmful organism can result in a health hazard. Examples are infectious diseases of the gastric and intestinal tract, like diarrhea, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis A.

Why tap water sometimes smells of chlorine
Tap water is practical, but not everywhere reliable. In a water supply system there may be an infection source, a leak, pressure reduction or lack of disinfection. Therefore it is not certain whether tap water is sufficiently free of micro-organisms. Often water is disinfected with chlorine. If you smell it, you can assume that the tap water is sufficiently disinfected.

How drinkable is rain?
Rainwater is often considered as being naturally clean. Nevertheless we do not advise to drink it directly. Especially after a dry period, the air contains considerable amounts of fine dust particles, which are full of mirco-organisms. In the beginning of a rainy season these dust particles end up  in reservoirs via roofs and drains, which turn into a rich source of micro-organisms. If the rainwater is stored in an underground reservoir or well it is also possible that it will be contaminated with groundwater.

Sip from the ditch?
A stream or river can look sparkling and fresh. However, all kinds of microorganisms can contaminate the water. Therefore, surface water is not suitable for direct consumption. Direct drinking from a water source is not a good idea either. Also a spring may contain a source of infection. And a shallow source may also be contaminated with faeces from groundwater .

Water purification
To purify water it is important to inactivate protozoa (cysts), bacteria and viruses. An easy and effective method is to boil water. However, this is time consuming and not everywhere easily doable. To inactivate protozoa and bacteria a membrane filter of 0.1-0.5 micron (pore diameter) can be used. The inactivation of bacteria and viruses can be done with a chemical treatment of sodium hypochlorite, such as the drinking water disinfectant Hadex ®. However, Hadex® does not inactivate protozoa.

Carefree drinking water
To inactivate the trinity protozoa , bacteria and viruses we recommend the combination of a filter and a chlorine solution. Firstly, the Care Plus® Water Filter 0.1 micron inactivates protozoa and bacteria. Secondly, Care Plus® Hadex® kills possible viruses in the filtered water. When it is not possible to purify water, buy a bottle of mineral water in the original sealed packaging . When in doubt, choose carbonated
water .

About Tropicare
Tropicare is the leading specialist in the field of health and safe travel since 1992. With advice, lectures and trainings, we contribute to the health of travelers. Care Plus is the product line of Tropicare which offers protection against biting insects, the sun, poor hygiene conditions, polluted drinking water and provides first aid solutions for the most common accidents at home and while travelling. The
Care Plus Travel Pharmacy iPhone & iPad app advises about the products required for your trip or vacation. Follow Care Plus on Twitter and Facebook or visit www.careplus.eu.