What Is The Effect Of Impure Water?

The effects of impure water are far-reaching and can have a significant impact on human health. When drinking contaminated water can cause illnesses ranging from diarrhea to organ damage and even death in extreme cases. Contaminated water also affects the environment by polluting rivers, streams, and other bodies of water, and can cause long-term damage to ecosystems.

Effects Of Impure Water

Health Issues: The biggest consequence of consuming impure water is that it can cause a range of health issues in humans. It may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and hepatitis A. Drinking impure water can have serious health effects, especially in vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly.

Environmental Damage: Contaminated water sources can contain bacteria, toxins, and other pollutants that can poison wildlife and cause significant environmental damage. Pollution from impure water can also lead to the destruction of habitats, with devastating impacts on the biodiversity of an area. Contaminated water sources often cause ecosystem changes that can harm aquatic life and lead to disruption of the food chain.

Soil Contamination: When industrial waste is dumped in water sources, the chemicals in these wastes can seep into the soil, causing contamination. Contaminated soil can be toxic to crops, leading to poor crop yields or worse, complete destruction of the crop. These contaminants can cause soil erosion, decrease the fertility of soils over time, and release toxins into the environment that may be hazardous to public health. Impurities can also enter the soil from sources such as agricultural runoff, and sewage.

Decreased Nutrient Availability: Impure water is lacking in important nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. These essential nutrients are necessary for plants to grow properly, so if they are not present they will fail to thrive. This can lead to decreased crop yields as well as an unhealthy ecosystem.

Erosion: When impure water is used to irrigate fields and gardens, it can erode soil particles, leading to increased sedimentation in rivers and lakes. This will ultimately damage the environment by reducing the amount of usable land for crops or animal grazing.

Aquatic Life: The presence of impurities in the water can negatively affect aquatic life as well. Toxic chemicals and bacteria can kill off fish and other animals, leading to an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Food Chain: Impure water can have a major effect on the food chain, as contaminated water sources can infect organisms and cause them to become ill. This is more dangerous if the organism is part of a larger food chain, as its disease can potentially spread throughout the system. For example, when fish feed on polluted water and become infected, it can then be passed on to whatever organism feeds on that fish.

Impurities In Surface Water: Impurities may also enter surface waters, such as rivers and lakes, from industrial runoff or wastewater discharges. These pollutants can degrade the quality of the water by decreasing oxygen levels, increasing acidity, and introducing harmful bacteria or toxins. This can have devastating effects on the environment, including killing fish and other aquatic species, reducing water quality for recreational activities such as swimming or fishing, and contaminating drinking water sources.

High TDS: Total Dissolved Solids, the measure of impurity in water, can have serious and detrimental effects on humans when ingested. It can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration among other health issues.

TDS also affects the taste and smell of drinking water making it unpleasant for consumption. The presence of heavy metals like mercury and arsenic can be extremely toxic, leading to serious health issues if ingested for a prolonged period of time. Impure water can corrode pipes and plumbing fixtures in homes and businesses, leading to expensive repairs and replacements.

Causes Of Impurities In Water

Industrial Waste: There are many commercial and industrial establishments that discharge their wastewater into rivers, lakes, and streams. These wastewaters contain toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, arsenic, chlorides, etc.

Urban Runoff: Stormwater runoff from urban areas often flushes untreated pollutants into nearby bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. These pollutants can be oil, fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals that are used in construction sites and residential areas.

Agricultural Runoff: When excess fertilizers used on farms run off into water bodies, it causes an increase in the number of nutrients present in the water body such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Pathogens: Pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites can be present in water bodies due to human sewage or animal waste. These organisms can cause serious health problems if consumed by humans.

Natural Sources: Many natural sources of impurities exist in water as well. These include salts, minerals, and other organic compounds that come from geological processes, volcanic activity, and other natural sources. Natural causes of water impurity include leaching from soils, runoff from storms and melting snow, as well as biological wastes like decaying animal or plant matter. Atmospheric deposition from air pollution is another potential source of contamination for surface waters.

Sewage: Sewage is a major source of impurities in water. Sewage contains pathogens, organic matter, and toxic metals that can have a detrimental effect on water quality.

Radioactive Substances: Radioactive substances such as uranium and radon can also contaminate water sources due to natural processes or man-made activities. These substances are especially hazardous to human health and can cause serious health issues.

Littering: Littering is one of the biggest causes of water pollution as it can contain harmful chemicals, metals, and other particles that can leach into nearby bodies of water. Inadequate infrastructure can also contribute to water impurity, as old and poorly maintained pipes may lead to the leakage of contaminants into water sources.

Types Of Water Pollution

  • Chemical Pollution
  • Nutrient Pollution
  • Sediment Pollution
  • Radioactive Pollution
  • Thermal Pollution
  • Ground Water Pollution
  • Surface Water Pollution
  • Improper Disposal Of Solid Waste
  • Oil Pollution
  • Suspended Matter Pollution
  • Microbiological Contamination
  • Heavy Metal Pollution

How To Stop Water Pollution?

  • Reduce your use of chemicals such as detergents and pesticides
  • Avoid pouring oil, paint, or other hazardous substances into drains
  • Avoid flushing medications down the toilet
  • Install structural controls such as buffers and wetlands
  • Participate in clean-up efforts
  • Educate yourself and others about water pollution
  • Support organizations working for clean water
  • Advocate for change
  • Choosing products and services with less environmental impact
  • Plant native vegetation
  • Conserve water
  • Pick up your pet waste
  • Dispose of hazardous materials properly
  • Support legislation that protects clean water


How Many People Fall Ill From Drinking Dirty Water Each Year?

Millions of people got different diseases due to the consumption of impure water.

What Does Contaminated Water Smell Like?

It may have a strong, unpleasant odor or no smell at all. Common odors include a sulfur or rotten egg smell from hydrogen sulfide, a musty scent from an abundance of algae, and an earthy odor caused by iron bacteria.

What Health Problems Could You Face After Consuming Unclean Water?

  • Stomach Illnesses
  • Skin Infections
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Kidney Damage
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Cancer

Why Does Water With Impurities Boil At A Higher Temperature?

  • Impurities decrease the vapor pressure of water, so it takes more energy to vaporize the impure liquid. This means that impurities in water increase its boiling point.
  • Impurities also stabilize the liquid phase and make it more energetically favorable than the gaseous phase, thus requiring even more energy for further evaporation.

What Effect Do Impurities Have On The Specific Gravity Of Water?

The specific gravity of water is affected by the presence of different impurities in it. Impurities like salt, minerals, and other dissolved solids can increase the density of water and thus its specific gravity.


Impure water can lead to a multitude of problems, as it contains potentially hazardous compounds or organisms that are not found in pure water. It is possible to remove some pollutants from water through treatment processes but it is always best to prevent pollution from occurring in the first place. We all have a responsibility to look after our environment and protect our valuable water sources.

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