Floods can have a significant impact on our water supply. While floods can provide much-needed water to arid landscapes, they can also contaminate drinking water sources and lead to an increased risk of waterborne illnesses. It is also considered the most expensive type of damage in Australia. The annual cost of flood damage is a staggering $377 million on average. We'll explore how floods can affect our drinking water and what we can do to mitigate these risks.
Floods can contaminate water sources and cause infrastructure damage that can lead to disruptions in your water supply. But, of course, health concerns connected with contaminated water are another danger that lurks in the muddy flood water.
Where Does Your Water Come From?
Your water comes from a variety of sources, including surface water, groundwater, and municipal water systems. Floods can have an impact on each of these sources.
Surface water is the water that you see on the ground, like in lakes, rivers, and streams. This water can become contaminated during a flood because it can pick up pollutants from the ground. Groundwater is the water that seeps into the ground and fills aquifers. This water can also become contaminated during a flood if floodwaters seep into the aquifer.
Municipal water systems get their water from both surface water and groundwater sources. If either of these sources is contaminated, it can affect the quality of your tap water.
Your tap water is a combination of water from dams, rivers, and recycled water during floods. Not all water is created equally! Before it reaches your tap, there’s a long process that includes up to 30 chemicals used for disinfection.
What Are the Possible Impacts?
The impacts of the flooding are numerous. Flooding is unique because it can affect both your environment and your health. Consequences to your health are often much more serious than material ones, and due to the microscopic nature of some dangerous contaminants, it’s often only after a person gets sick that contaminated water is identified as the cause.
1. Contaminated Water
Floodwaters can pick up all sorts of contaminants, from sewage to toxic chemicals. This water can then contaminate your drinking water supply, making it unsafe to consume. In some cases, you may not be able to use your tap water at all and will need to rely on bottled water until the contamination is cleared.
If you must use flood-contaminated tap water, boil it first to destroy any potentially harmful bacteria or viruses. You should also be on the lookout for any signs of illness, such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, as these could be signs of a waterborne illness. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming tap water, you should seek medical attention immediately.
2. Increased Chemicals to Treat Water
After a flood, the levels of harmful bacteria and other contaminants in drinking water can increase. This can make water more difficult to treat and potentially cause serious health problems.
Water is most often treated with chlorine to get rid of all potentially harmful substances, viruses, and microorganisms. After floodwater has entered the pipework, local councils often significantly increase the amount of chlorine they dose into the water. Although it is typically considered safe for human consumption, chlorine affects your gut health and some consider it a possible human carcinogen
After a disaster happens, what you can do is either disinfect your water supply or boil your water for one minute, and of course, get it tested.
How Water Filters Help
Water filters can help remove these contaminants, making our water safe to drink again. They’re a practical solution that can help you save your health during unpredictable times.
Here at Aquastream, we offer a wide range of water filters. We offer a range of filtration technologies, including sediment, carbon, and reverse osmosis filter systems. We also offer ultraviolet disinfection solutions to help you get rid of nasty microorganisms.
Both represent superior solutions for your health and well-being. Our advanced carbon block filter systems can help you clear your water supply and get rid of unpleasant odors, dirt, and different sediments. Reverse osmosis can provide you with almost 99% pure water, removing harmful chemicals, viruses, and bacteria. Reverse osmosis filters are great for use in pharmaceutical facilities, labs, dental offices, and healthcare facilities. UV systems are popular for disinfecting the water supplying your homes and offices due to their low cost per liter of water filtered. There is no known microbe that is immune to UV light when used at the right level.
Prepare for Flooding with Aquastream
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, flooding is becoming a more common problem. Australia is known for its unpredictable climate, which is why it's important to be prepared for flooding. So we suggest you choose a more proactive approach to this situation. Don’t wait for the emergency to happen. Purchasing a water filter system is not only a safeguard for contaminated tap water; improving your water quality will improve your health and extend the life of your appliances, making it a sound decision for your home and office.
With Aquastream, you can have peace of mind knowing that you and your family will have access to clean drinking water even if your tap water is contaminated during a flood.
What dangers to one's health are associated with consuming flood-contaminated water?
There are a number of health risks associated with drinking water that has been contaminated by floods. These include gastrointestinal illnesses, skin infections, and respiratory infections. Additionally, people who drink flood-contaminated water may be at risk for developing hepatitis A and other serious illnesses.
How can I tell if my drinking water has been contaminated by flooding?
If you live in an area that has been affected by floods, it is important to check your local water quality reports to see if your drinking water has been affected. You can also contact your local water utility to ask about the quality of your drinking water.
What should I do if my drinking water has been contaminated by flooding?
You should boil your drinking water for at least a minute before consuming it if floods have contaminated it. You can also use bottled water or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth.
How do floods affect freshwater?
Floods can have a significant impact on freshwater resources. When floods occur, large amounts of water can be displaced, often contaminating nearby water sources. This can lead to a decrease in the quality of drinking water for both humans and animals. Floodwaters can also carry harmful bacteria and pollutants that can contaminate water supplies and make people sick. In addition, floods can damage or destroy infrastructure such as water treatment plants, which can further reduce the quality of drinking water.
Can you drink water during a flood?
If there is known contamination, your local council will likely send out a boil-water alert. This means you should use bottled water or boil water before drinking it until further notice. However, councils don’t always alert residents in time, and often, by the time you’ve received the alert, you may have already ingested contaminated water. It's safest not to drink tap water during a flood unless you have an adequate filtration and disinfection system.
How does water flow affect water quality?
Floods can have a big impact on water quality. Floodwaters can pick up pollutants like sewage, oil, and chemicals from the ground, which can then contaminate drinking water sources. Flooding can also damage water treatment facilities and cause disruptions in the water supply.
How does flooding affect human health?
Floodwaters can contain sewage and other contaminants that can cause serious health problems. Floodwater can be full of harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery that are spread through water. These diseases can cause severe dehydration and diarrhea, which can be life-threatening. Floodwater can also have dangerous chemicals and gases in it that can make it hard to breathe if you breathe them in. Floodwaters can also lead to injuries or death if people are swept away.
Where does Australia flood the most?
Some of the worst floods in Australian history happened in the east; the areas that were most affected were New South Wales and Queensland.