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Can tap water from city water supply cause intestinal parasites and bacterial infections?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 1499 Questions
Hello can tap water from city water supply cause intestinal parasites or bacterial infections? The water that comes out of the sink sometimes smells exactly like the water treatment plant a few miles away. It has a heavy chlorine smell they use to cover up the smell but my concern is they are not getting all the junk out of the water. I have been feeling sick and weak for months. My location is Panama City beach Florida which has alot of tourist. What can I take to kill water borne diseases or parasites?
Posted Fri, 27 Dec 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 57 minutes later
Brief Answer: Please refer to the following suggestions... Detailed Answer: Hi, It is true that tap water from the city water supply can cause intestinal parasitic infections and/or bacterial infections also called as waterborne (water-related) diseases. Some of them are resistent to chlorine, including Cryptosporidium (parasite); campylobacter jejunumi(bacteria); rotavirus (virus),etc. Sometimes, the water-piping system is damaged where tapped water and sewage water are mixed leading to water-related diseases. Moreover, calcareous water can cause kidney stones. The chlorine you smell is because chlorine is added to the water for hygiene purposes. The smell you feel is because water is freshly chlorinated or the quantity of chlorine is high which also cause health problems. I suggest to let the tap water flow for up to 10-20 minutes before using it. It is better to use mineral water instead of tap water for drinking purposes. If you cannot afford to buy mineral water, you can use a water filter to make the tap water drinkable. I usually recommend boiling the tap water first, let the boiled water stay for overnight and filter the next day through a cheesecloth. Hope it answered to your inquiries! Feel free to ask me other questions you might have at the next follow up! Dr.Alba
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