Tips to Prevent Water-Borne Diseases

Updated on 29 March 2023

Water-borne diseases are conditions or infections that are caused by microorganisms transmitted via unhygienic or contaminated water. These conditions can be spread through contaminated water used for making food, washing, bathing, and drinking. 

Natural disasters like cyclones, floods and earthquakes cause changes in the pathogenic patterns which trigger these diseases. Water-borne diseases also spread due to poor maintenance of water pipelines. The intermingling of drinking and sewage water is the main cause.

The pathogens and the water-borne diseases spread by them are as follows:

  • Virus - Rotavirus diarrhoea in infants, poliomyelitis, Hepatitis E, and viral hepatitis A.
  • Leptospiral - Weil's disease
  • Protozoans - Giardiasis and amoebiasis
  • Bacteria - Cholera, paratyphoid fever, typhoid fever, E. Coli diarrhoea, and Bacillary dysentery
  • Helminthic - Hydatid disease, threadworm, and roundworm

Water-borne Diseases Symptoms

Water borne diseases symptoms can be the following;

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough

Prevention of Water-borne Diseases

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), water-borne diseases affect more than 1.8 million people yearly worldwide, some of which are fatal. The number primarily includes children in developing countries like India.

However, the good news is that these diseases are preventable if proper care is taken. By taking effective preventive measures, individuals can safeguard themselves and their families from the harmful consequences of these diseases. 

Here are some tips for preventing water-borne diseases:

Water Disinfection

Many artificial and natural resources are polluted by toxic substances and waste. In India, half of the pipelines deliver untreated water. Access to clean water is the most significant step to preventing disease outbreak. Therefore, it is recommended to install a water purifier in homes. If it's not possible, add common iodine to the water and boil it for 10 minutes to make it suitable for consumption. This is one of the safest and simplest methods to get protection from water-borne diseases. 

Sanitized Environment 

The spreading of water-borne diseases occurs through unsanitized sources. A large fraction of the Indian population lives in malaria-endemic zones. The spread of the disease occurs due to the breeding of mosquitoes in open water sources and increases during monsoon season. Preventing water stagnation, sterilising open water sources, and cleaning drains can help set up a clean environment for living and control the breeding of disease-causing organisms.

Personal Hygiene

Ignoring food and personal hygiene can make an individual susceptible to numerous diseases. Practicing some common hygiene practices, such as using clean toilets, flushing, using disinfectants, and washing feet and hands after returning from the office or home, can help decrease the chances of developing a disease. Further, people must avoid eating junk and street food when there is an outbreak of dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera or typhoid. 

Eat Safe Foods

Water-borne disease-causing organisms flourish on uncovered and stale foods. Therefore, people must consume items that are hot and covered. Moreover, they should not be kept outside. Make sure to wash fruits and vegetables with dilute vinegar and refrigerate them to preserve them. 


Vaccinations prevent millions of deaths due to water-borne diseases. It is an effective way to control disease spread. Vaccines can be administered to a large number of people in emergency cases. Though they can't replace traditional prevention measures, they can help strengthen the immune system to reduce the signs and symptoms of diseases and fast recovery. 

Therefore, it is important to get vaccinated at regular time intervals. Further, women who have become mothers recently should breastfeed their babies for six months to help them develop antibodies against diseases such as diarrhoea. Caretakers and parents of children must disinfect their hands with soap after changing their wards' clothes and diapers. 

Spreading Awareness

Lack of awareness about the spread and symptoms of water-borne diseases is one of the reasons for them being undetected and untreated. When all preventive ways fail, medical treatment options can still control further complications. Spreading information and educating family and friends about the dangers of diseases can help decrease the probability of getting affected or methods to be taken after an infection. 

Mass awareness campaigns, individual ownership, and local initiatives can result in a timely diagnosis, intervention and treatment of water-borne diseases, reducing the number of deaths.


Every year, water-borne diseases affect millions of people, especially those who do not have access to safe drinking water. These diseases result in many deaths. If every person acquires hygiene, practices safe sanitation and has access to safe drinking water, then these water-borne diseases will not exist. 





Have a Question?

If you cannot find answers to your queries, please fill out the enquiry form or call the number below. We will contact you shortly.

volume control phone icon +91-40-6810 6589

Follow Us On