How to prevent water cysts and waterborne gastric diseases
Cysts in water, while not as common as they were in the 1980s, persist even to this day. A waterborne disease known as Giardiasis is a result of Giardia cysts. First recorded in the USA, Giardiasis has symptoms ranging from nausea to horrible intestinal pain.
Why did that outbreak happen? Because of the lack of efficient chlorine systems at the time, and improper water filters. Water supplies were unfiltered and not tested frequently either, leading to the Giardia outbreak. The contamination spread until the outbreak had well set in. However, even if long-term effects are minimal, lifestyle changes would have to be maintained to get the situation in order.
The lack of a drinking water filter or generic home water filters led to this, especially as the residents relied on a well. Not only the cysts but several contaminants and hard mineral residues would also go into a person's system. This needs to be taken care of immediately.
Giardiasis is a disease of the gastrointestinal which is a result of Giardia cysts. Giardia cysts come into the water due to animal or human wastes. Even though they are super tiny, they can survive in extreme temperatures for months at a time. Rats and similar mammals living in sewers are a major contributor to the propagation of the disease. Symptoms of the same include nausea and major discomfort in the stomach. It is highly unsuitable to drink water or even use it during showers or washing dishes.
How to prevent Giardiasis
Giardia cysts are not obviously there in the water until someone is infected, and this makes it difficult to prevent by simple testing. Testing on its own costs hundreds of dollars and you'll need between 10 to 50 litres of water to test too. You'll have to get an expert to come in and check your tank or well, and even if it is tested in such a massive amount of water and cysts are missing from this sample, it still doesn't mean that there are no Giardia cysts.
Ideally, the municipality should test for the cysts and also regularly treat water, especially those coming straight from the sewer system. Your building should also have something in place for the same. If you feel ill or are under the impression that your water is contaminated, it's essential to call someone immediately.
If you're taking water from a private well or tank, you need to take the onus on yourself to ensure that your water doesn't have cysts. Water taken from groundwater that is above 80 degrees usually doesn't harbour these cysts, however, in case the surface water comes into the well or you use a tank that has its source in surface water, it could get contaminated. One way to keep water away from contamination is by using a grouted well casing that goes beyond the surface.
Another way to reduce the damage of Giardia cysts as much as possible is by installing water filters across your home. Some water filters are so advanced that they take care of many hard minerals inside the water along with other problems. Keeping water regularly clean greatly reduces the chances of giardia cysts forming.
Removing cysts from the water
To treat and remove Giardia cysts, it's important to disinfect the water before it comes out through the tap. For this you need to use the right filtration system that will make the cysts inactive, then you would need to use a physical filter to remove the cysts physically.
These cysts are persistent and normal methods won't work. They resist regular forms of treatment. Compared to bacteria, they are much bigger too. Therefore, it's important to both disinfect and filter in combination. Municipal plants use this technique as well to make sure that the water quality remains high. Apart from this, home water filters and treatments such as a Waterdrop filter make sure that pesky bacteria don't infiltrate your food.
Boiling water is also a good way to eliminate Giardia cysts from your water and has been used for generations. To make these cysts inactive, it's important that you boil the water for a minute inside the microwave or on a stove. Do note that even if you live in Dubai and the water in your tank is naturally hot, it's still not enough to kill the cysts. However, boiling water every time can indeed get cumbersome and it is at best a temporary solution. What you could try is boiling water and refrigerating the boiled water for later use.
A water purifier is another great option for ensuring that your water is free from Giardia cysts. Waterdrop filters and similar types of devices filter out all types of smaller bacteria and since cysts are bigger, it becomes even easier. There are several types of filters to look out for more hi-tech machinery to simple filters attached to taps such as a drip coffee maker.
If you do get a filter onboard, make sure to keep it maintained, cleaned, and replaced. Those mounted on taps should be at least changed every six months. Always make note of your manufacturer's methods so that you know you're on the right path.
Ozone is a newer method being used to kill giardia cysts and treat water by killing off bacteria too. With lesser contact time than normal methods, the disinfection process becomes easier. Ozone doesn't leave any weird aftertaste either and takes care of all residue.
Reverse osmosis, a technology that is effective but not widely recommended, is another solution for Giardia treatment. In Reverse Osmosis (RO), devices come in small, compact units that make water go through a membrane that is semi-permeable under high pressure. Bacteria, cysts, and more are kept on one side of the membrane, and clean water emerges from the other.
UV light systems take care of cysts and bacteria by passing water across an aperture that has a quartz mercury lamp. The only catch is that to treat cysts, the size of these units has to be larger than usual. The state of water beforehand, in terms of the amount of iron, sediment and hardness also make a difference while being treated with a UV light system. Such water might even need pre-treatment and disinfection before being used on a UV light device.
Get your hands on a water purifier ASAP!
We hope this article was useful in explaining the consequences of Giardia cysts and the best ways to treat water that has these cysts. Remember, untreated water could lead to nausea and stomach pain, and it's important for you to always watch out for these signs, especially if your water comes from a well or tank.
Waterdrop filters and devices use the latest technology to treat water with cysts in it. You shouldn't wait for bacteria or cysts to spread before installing such devices. To find out more about Waterdrop water filters, reach out to our experts. Give us a call at 800 4545 or fill out our contact us form.