Role Played by Water on the Transmission of Diseases.

Ekai kaoo By Ekai kaoo, 29th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Water plays a big role in the body of a human being because high percentage of cells depends on fluids for strength and stability. Water is used in various ways. These includes; human consumption for body needs, animal watering, Industrial use for manufacturing, and for recreational activities.Simple improvements are required to ensure adequate quality and quantity of water.

Role Played by Water on the Transmission of Diseases.

There are four main sources of water namely rain water, surface water, underground water and sea water.

Rain Water.
This water is relatively pure and clean. Its state of cleanliness depends on levels of atmospheric pollution and how it is collected. The cleanest natural water available is that which is collected from iron sheets into gutters and led by pipes into clean closed tanks. When the first rainwater falls, the last part of the gutters leading to the tank should be removed for some time to ensure that dirt on the roof does not enter the tank. One disadvantage of this water source is that it is difficult to collect from thatched roofs.
The community health nurse can assist the community members to ensure collection of clean water.

Surface Water.

This type of water includes shallow springs and shallow wells, streams, rivers, dams, ponds and lakes. A spring is a natural issue of underground water. When the rainwater falls on the surface it sinks into the ground until it reaches the impermeable layer of rock, which it cannot go through.
All the water above this layer is called surface water. If it finds a point of issue it is called a shallow spring. If a well is dug into it, it is called a shallow well, despite its depth. The quantity of water yielded by shallow springs or wells varies according to the season. They may dry up during droughts and are liable to contamination by latrines.
A river is a large mass of flowing water. During the rainy season, its waters become turbid, while in the dry season they are clear.
River water has a lot of impurities obtained from human and animal waste, washing, sewage, agricultural waste and industrial waste.
Other sources of water are dams, ponds and lakes. All these sources provide fresh water. However, the water from these sources is often unclean and not safe for drinking. It is therefore important to identify suitable ways of rendering it safe.
The quality of water depends on the location of its sources. If the water source is from the forest, hills and valleys, it is clean and suitable for household use with little or no prior treatment. This is because there is no human settlement, which might be a source of potential pollutants, at or around the water source.
On the other hand, streams, rivers and lakes around or within towns and villages are likely to be contaminated by human and animal waste. It is, therefore, important to protect water sources from human settlement or animal grazing.

Sea Water.

This water is salty and requires expensive purification processes to make it suitable for drinking. There are also the salty waters of the Indian Ocean.

Underground Water.
The water that gets under the impermeable layer of rock is called underground water. It is the water between two impermeable layers of rock, one above and the other one below. This water finds an outlet through a fissure or crack in the upper layer of the rock. Water from this issue is obtained as a deep spring, a well or a borehole.
Water may contribute to the spread of diseases in several ways. When there is not enough water, and people cannot observe basic personal hygiene, diseases like scabies, non-specific diarrhoeas, dysentery and trachoma spread. Such diseases whose spread is promoted by lack of adequate water are called water-washed (water scarce) diseases. Simply improving the quantity of water can prevent them.
Water can also contribute to the spread of diseases when it carries a specific disease-causing organism. Examples are typhoid, cholera, amoebiasis, hepatitis A, or poliomyelitis. Such diseases caused by contaminated water are called water-borne diseases, and the only way to prevent them is to improve the quality that is, the cleanliness of the water.
Finally, water can contribute to the spread of disease when it is necessary in the life cycle of a disease vector, for example malaria and schitosomomiasis. These diseases are called water-related diseases. Other water related diseases include: onchocerciasis (river blindness) and dracunculosis (guinea worm).

Sources of Water Contamination.

Water has the ability to absorb substances and gases, for example, oxygen and carbon dioxide as it falls as rain. It also absorbs minerals, for example, different salts from rocks or even dangerous chemicals from industrial wastes.
Collecting surfaces for rainwater may have leaves, insects, bird droppings and animal faeces on them. When water runs over the earth it may become contaminated with human or animal excreta, refuse, fertilizers or industrial wastes.
Excreta and refuse may contaminate shallow wells. Wells may also be contaminated by the use of dirty containers for drawing water or by oil from a pump. Bathing, urinating, defecating in water, washing clothes and animal watering may contaminate rivers, lakes or dams.
Even piped water may become contaminated from leaks in the pipes, especially when they pass near dirty drains or when it is collected in contaminated containers. Water may go bad if it is uncovered or stored for too long in a pot or cistern. Finally, it is important to remember that water from any source may become contaminated if it is drunk from dirty or communal drinking vessels.


Sources Of Water, Sources Of Water Contamination

Meet the author

author avatar Ekai kaoo
Am a fourth year student undertaking Bachelor of science in Nursing.I like writing articles of medical field.

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