Diseases that can be transmitted through drinking water

We drink about 150,000 liters of water in the course of our lives. That’s quite a lot, if you think about it. And as we drink our water day in, day out, we also consume many different substances in that water, some of which can cause serious diseases.

Bacterial resistance, allergies

Pharmaceutical residues can get into our drinking water because we pass the bulk of the medications we take through our urine. This passes into the sewer systems and eventually into rivers, lakes, or groundwater

Hormonal imbalances, infertility

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (natural and artificial estrogens, industrial chemicals, pesticides) excreted in human and animal waste can get into the groundwater and disrupt our hormonal balance

Diarrhea, vomiting, fever

Fecal bacteria and parasites are found even in natural springs whether in the mountains or in the valleys as well as in city water lines

Severe pneumonia (legionellosis)

In those parts of water lines where water has a chance to stand, the Legionella bacteria can multiply freely. Hot water systems are especially optimal for their growth.

Organ and tissue changes

Caused by pesticides that enter the groundwater

Infectious diseases, inflammation

Infections can be caused by viruses in our drinking water. Pseudonomonas aeruginose in the cold water coming from groundwater supplies can cause inflammation and cysts.

Pathogens in drinking water

Drinking water contains an average of 50,000 to 150,000 active cells per milliliter (a small sip), which can lead to a massive germ load in buildings. The following pathogens may be present in drinking water and multiply as they make their way to your home’s pipelines.


Infectious diseases caused by viruses in drinking water

Viruses frequently show up in the public water supply and can cause infectious diseases. In the past, this phenomenon was observed mainly for hepatitis A and hepatitis E, several larger and smaller epidemics have been caused by the Norwalk virus in recent years, even in Europe.

All of the viruses that affect our water supply come from fecal matter which can still be detected after conventional, multi-stage waste water treatment. They can pass through the approved disinfection methods with ease as long as the particles remain small enough. Consequently, particle separation is of particular importance in the choice of water treatment.

The tap water that comes into our homes cannot be shown to be free of viruses.

Insufficient testing

The standard testing of 100 mL samples for E. coli and coliform bacteria is not enough. In areas where the risk of fecal contamination of drinking water is high, the likelihood of a viral contamination is also high.

These risk areas include public water supplies in Alpine and hilly regions.

Häufiges Auftreten von Fäkalkeimen in kleineren (dezentralen) Wasserversorgungen in Bayern (LGL Bayern)

Fecal bacteria

Frequently found in public water supplies

Fecal bacteria are frequently found in public water supplies. In 2008, the Bavarian State Office for Food Safety and Health documented the presence of pathogenic fecal bacteria in:

  • up to 10% of all larger public water supplies
    (more than 1 million liters of water treated annually)
  • up to 34% of all smaller public water supplies
    (less than 1 million liters of water treated annually)

Microbial contamination also in mineral and bottled tap water

Samples of mineral and bottled tap water also frequently show the presence of microbes. Often this can be attributed to the presence of bacteria in the springs and non-sterile filling conditions, combined with the long transport routes of the bottled water, where the water is exposed to longer-term warm temperatures in the sun, trucks, or heated distribution centers.

The Bavarian State Office for Food Safety and Health found coliform fecal bacteria in up to 13% of bottled tap water and up to 3% of mineral water bottles investigated.

More about bottled water


Diarrhea caused by parasites in drinking water

Parasites, especially Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia, have repeatedly caused epidemics, most recently in the last two decades of the 20th century. The most serious epidemic occurred in Milwaukee, where more than 400,000 people became ill and more than 100 died by Cryptosporidium that had been transmitted by the city’s water supply despite chlorination.

Illnesses caused by Cryptosporidium cause severe diarrhea, which in many cases can be fatal, especially for those with weak immune systems.

The German Federal Environment Agency has also suggested a possible contamination of drinking water by such parasites. The agency recommended increased treatment of drinking water in waterworks with elevated turbidity levels, using steric processes designed to separate the parasites from the water using ultra-fine filter like those offered by Seccua Ultrafiltration.

Ultrafiltration for purified water

Although ultrafiltration technology has been mandated in the United States, Canada, England and other countries, but not in Germany, the drinking water here only rarely undergoes ultrafiltration.

In Bavaria, however, ultrafiltration is already prescribe in many areas, such as some parts of the Bavarian Forest and the foothills of the Alps, but is only slowly being implemented as municipalities drag their feet. (After all, potholes are more visible than pathogens!)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Contaminated components in your domestic water lines

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can enter your domestic water system either through the connection to the public water line, through contaminated tools and materials used during repairs, or through the installation of contaminated components. Dead pipes and stagnation in domestic water systems are perfect environments for bacteria to multiply. Particularly affected are cold water systems including where they tap into their water supply but also hot water systems in certain cases.

It can be expected that the spread of Pseudomonas will increase as climate change warms the groundwater supply.

Contamination of the pipeline network and the connections to the water supply can have particularly serious consequences for high-risk patients.

Serious consequences for high-risk patients

Among those especially susceptible to Pseudomonas aeruginosa are people who:

  • have cystic fibrosis and COPD
  • have had transplant recipients
  • have had major surgery
  • are on ventilation in intensive care units (increased risk!)
  • have suffered burns (Pseudomonas cause severe skin infections)

Studies show that increased P. aeruginose concentrations are found in up to 30% of all dental treatment systems. These may result in throat inflammations.

What can I do for healthy drinking water?

Our Seccua Filtration systems help you purify your drinking water – installed where city water gets into yout home. So you’re having clean drinking water at every faucet in your home – for sure!

Get in touch with us:
(844) 533-1305

Healthy water through filtration

Getting clean and healthy drinking water isn’t that difficult: check out our filtration systems! No more legionella, bacteria, viruses or parasites in your drinking water!

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Get in touch with us

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(844) 533-1305