Water Sanitation Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2180 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Disease

¶ … water sanitation. We discuss the need for water to be safe for human consumption and the need for water in times of disasters such as floods and hurricanes such as hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. This paper then outlines the actions that are to be taken by individuals as well as the community as a whole in ensuring that there is adequate supply of safe drinking water.

The concepts of water and sanitation are intrinsic to the very survival of humans on the face of this planet. This is because the human body comprises of about two thirds water and it does several functions to one's body (AC,2010).

Functions of water in the human body

It is essential for the process of digestion. It also removes toxic substances from the human body in the form of urine, fecal matter and sweat.

It cushions our joins and also prevents shocks in the same joints

Its presence in the blood helps in the carrying of oxygen and other forms of nuitrients to all the cells in the human body

Its presence in the lymph helps in the fighting of diseases in the human immune system

It helps in the regulation of body temperature

It prevents dehydration and therefore aids in the maintenance of proper metabolism in the human body

Water as a human right

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Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General stated that "Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity." (WHO,2003)

Certain natural disasters have been known to disrupt the normal distribution and system used in the provision of safe drinking water to citizens of many nations.

The link between water supply and sanitation

Research Paper on Water Sanitation Assignment

In times of disaster, Diarrhoeal diseases have been noted to be the cause of a high level of morbidity and mortality. Several studies have been carried out in order to find out the cause for this. It has been documented that this is mainly due to the increased prevalence of the endemic form of gastroenteritis as opposed to the epidemics of dysentery and cholera (Shears,1991). There have however been few studies that were dedicated to the determination of the aetiological agents responsible and the routes of transmission of these diseases.In acertain study focusing on the relief shelters in Ethiopia (Desenclos et al.,1988), certain familiar bacterial pathogens were identified in about five percent of the cases of diarrhea. This study neglected the investigation of viral pathogens. It is worth noting that several attempts have been made geared towards the realization of an intervention in terms of the identification of the pathogenic sources but to no success. An outbreak of cholera in a Sudanese camp indicated that no common source of the cholera infection could be identified positively ( Glass et al.,1980). IN yet another study conducted in Mali, it was discovered that the outbreak of cholera in the villages was as a result as contaminated foods and polluted wells. These were identified to be the causes of the cholera outbreak and transmission (Tauxe et al.,1988).

It is therefore important that water supply be improved as well as processes of excreta disposal in order to successful reduce cases of infection in times of disaster. The relief efforts must therefore handle water and sanitation in tandem in order to results to be achieved.

In the event of a hurricane, water is considered to be a very valuable resource. This is mainly true in the case of persons who do suffer from the electrical loss at the time of a hurricane or floods. There is however certain tips that can be used by the persons who are affected by flood in managing their water supplies at the time of a hurricane.

Various natural disasters and human caused ones have been shown to cause a lot of human suffering. This therefore calls for a need for the suffering of the victims to be alleviated. Examples of natural disasters that can cause a disruption in water and sanitation services are:

1. Hurricanes

2. Tornadoes

3. Earthquakes

4. Drought

5. Blizzards

6. Famine

7. War

8. Fire

9. Volcanic eruption

10. Transportation havoc

11. Flooding

It is crucial to come up with specific objectives, resources and expertise in order to mitigate the water and sanitation shortage that comes along with these disasters (FAQ,2010).

The following are the techniques that should be used in the preparation of drinking water by individuals who are affected (EPA,2006)

Individuals should use bottled water that has never been in any way exposed to the flood waters.

If one does not have bottled water, then one should boil water in order to make it safe for human consumption. The process of boiling water aids in the killing of most types of organisms that cause diseases. In case the water is cloudy, it is appropriate to filter it through clean clothing or to let it to settle by itself. The clean water obtained is then subjected to boiling at elevated temperatures. The water should be boiled for a minute then let to cool. The resulting clean water should then be stored in a container that is covered fully.

If one cannot boil the water, it is advisable to disinfect it by means of household bleach. The bleach helps in the killing of most of the disease causing micro-organisms that may be present in the water. The next step is to filter the water through a clean piece of clothing and then to allow it to settle. The next step is to draw off the clean water for further disinfection. It is advisable for one to add an eighth of a teaspoon of the regular and unscented liquid household bleach for every gallon of water. The resulting solution should then be stirred and let to stand for about 30 minutes before being used. The disinfected water should then be stored in clean and well covered water containers

In case the wells are also covered, it is appropriate that the water be tested after the water from the floods recedes. Should one suspect that the well is contaminated, immediate contact should be made to the local and state health departments for the purpose of requesting further advice.

The initial thing that one should do whenever it come to the management of water is to make sure that there is at least 4 cups of water each day that is set aside for every person in the household. This is despite the fact that each person should drink at least 8 cups of water per day.

The local and federal authorities must urge and advice people to save water by all means possible. It is therefore important only to drink if it is necessary to do so.

Individual must avoid at all cost, consuming products that result in the dehydration of the body. These include products such as alcohol and beverages that have caffeine ingredients.

It is advisable to melt ice so as to get drinking water to drain and the subsequently consume water that is contained in the residential water heating system.

It is important that individuals have an extensive knowledge of the type of water that they should never consume. These include even the sources that should never be considered safe for human consumption.

Water and sources of water that are deemed unfit for human consumption

Water obtained from toilets and those that are on tanks used in toilets

Water from radiators

Water from swimming pools and other bodies of water used for all forms of recreation

Water beds

Water from domestic hot boiling systems

The other method that we should talk about when it come to the making of water safe for drinking in times of disaster is filtering:


There are several forms of filters that can be used to effectively eliminate certain disease-causing parasites like Cryptosporidium and Girdia from water to be consumed by humans. If one chooses a portable water filter, it is important to choose one that has filter pore diameter that is small enough to eliminate bacterial as parasites at the same time. It is worth noting that most of the filters are never designed to be effective in the elimination of viruses. It is therefore important to read the manufacturer's instructions when employing these filters for the purpose of making water safe for human consumption.

After the filtering process, it is necessary to carry out additional processes such as addition of disinfectants such as chlorine, iodine and chlorine dioxide in order to eliminate bacteria and viruses.

Impact of disasters on the water distribution and processing infrastructure

Impact of Hurricane Katrina on the water system of New Orleans was very severe (Copeland,2005).This is because it interrupted water service to the city and most of the water that could be found in most parts of the city were just for flushing the toilets and for fire fighting. Extensive damage occurred… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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