What happens when you drink bad water?

We’ve all been there. Maybe you were on a camping trip, or visiting a foreign country. Or maybe the tap water at home just tasted a little off. Whatever the case may be, we’ve all taken that risk and had some bad water.

But what happens when we drink it? Is it really that big of a deal? Well buckle up, because we’re about to take you on an adventure through the dangers of drinking contaminated water.


Water is essential for human survival. We need it to stay hydrated and keep our bodies functioning properly. However, not all water is created equal.

So What Exactly is ‘Bad Water’?

Before getting into what happens if you consume bad H2O let’s understand what defines ‘bad’. Anytime the contents of your container are not safe for consumption, you’re looking at potentially hazardous situation. This can mean anything from bacteria to chemicals like lead and mercury – which will mess with your brain! And jumping in murky river could quickly bring intestine contaminators directly where they shouldn’t oughta (AKA inside ya).

The drinking-quality available worldwide needs sanctioned stages of purification before deemed serveable for daily intake but as someone who’s travelled extensively: believe us — standards differ between countries.

How Does One get Affected by Drinking Contaminated Water?

This one might seem obvious: when we ingest toxic liquids our body does its best job to filter out anything harmful continuing rapid pace-like bees working honeycomb production. But when something dangerous slips under the radar ,things start happening almost instantly and escalating – here’s how:

Short-Term Effects

  • Nausea & Vomiting: these side effects are usually among very first physical indications showing signs indicating consuming compromised body fluids .
  • Abdominal Pain & Diarrhea : stomach cramps and needing to hit the toilet are often what follows next – speak of unpleasant digestive combustion
  • Headaches & Dizziness: Electrolyte imbalances caused by contaminated water come with the unfortunate duo of headaches and some serious toppling-over!
  • Dehydration: when fluids which make up most our body (around 70%!) flush-out due to unwanted additions it results in dehydration, drier-than-sahara mouth feeling and possibly even fainting.

Long-Term Effects

The worse scenario is consuming this type of H2O over an extended period without treatment:

  • Chronic diseases like cancer, after drinking arsenic-polluted liquids which destroy DNA
  • Liver damage from continuous exposure to toxins/pollutants
  • Neurological damages for instance memory loss or speech impediments courtesy of Mercury poisoning

The Culprits

Contamination comes under different forms making waters unsuitable for sipping safely:

You’ll find pollutants everywhere in varying quantity; whether deliberate side effect human conduct (industrial waste) , as result chemicals used non-sustainable agriculture methods or natural disasters such earthquakes/tsunamis (messed-up geological layering).

Biological Sources

While these microorganisms serve a purpose they can also wreak havoc on humans – similar beast being the infamous COVID19
– Bacteria : Water that’s heavily infected with bacteria could lead to foodborne illness/’bacterial infections’
. Viruses water carrying dangerous viruses like rotavirus that cause stomach/chest infections.
. Protozoa :
If you’re unlucky enough to swallow parasitic protozoan organisms Cyclospora or Giardia you’re going through some terrible times ahead!

Chemicals Like Agricultural Runoff

Industrial runoff introduce agro-chems into groundwater, which makes way into rivers/lakes the public uses to treat their illnesses. Pesticides/herbicides in particular can deeply infiltrate H2O systems especially when farmers barely follows safety protocols due cost-carving mechanisms/convenience.

Observe your Source:

If you’ve noticed weird color or smell coming from pipes/wells/sources of water then it’s evident that contaminants are present and oral consumption isn’t recommended


The importance of drinking clean water is something that cannot be overlooked; our entire bodies depend on this life-giving liquid – so don’t take chances by drinking anything less than optimal (even if it comes with a fun name!). Keep an eye out for funny colors/odors, given the right consideration standard precautions and WATER-AIDing yourself will avoid some serious illness tomorrow!

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