Common Diseases Caused by Contaminated Drinking Water

Unsafe drinking water can lead to many diseases, so it is important to regularly check the quality of your drinking water, particularly if you get your water from a private well. Drinking water testing labs can help you determine whether or not you should be concerned about potential pathogens in your water.


Salmonella is commonly found in public water supplies and private wells. It is caused by a bacteria found in waste products that come from human and animal sources. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, fever, and diarrhea, and it can last anywhere from a few days to a week. In some cases, medical treatment is needed, particularly in people who are immune-surpressed.

Hepatitis A

Hepetitis A affects liver function, though it can also attack other systems in the body. It is caused by ingesting even microscopic amounts of fecal matter, which can be present in water supplies that have become contaminated after flooding, or when a well’s structure has been breached.


Caused by a parasitic organism that can survive traditional chlorination methods used to sanitize water, cryptosporidium causes nausea, weight loss, vomiting, dehydration, and abdominal cramping. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks, depending on the severity of the infection and the initial health of those infected.

The best way to prevent diseases caused by contaminated drinking water is to use drinking water testing labs to regularly check the safety of your water. If you are even a little unsure about your water, you can boil your tap water or use bottled water until you are sure about the safety of the water that flows from your taps.