Can tap water make me ill?

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

While most of us assume that our tap water is perfectly safe to drink, the reality is that harmful impurities can and sometimes do get into the water which we then consumer and become ill. It’s important to stay educated on what might be in your water so you can make a more informed decision the next time you pour a glass straight from the tap. The following impurities can be particularly harmful to the very young, very old and those with weak immune systems.


Lead gets into the water when the lead pipes the water flows through start to corrode. Drinking water should not contain any traces of lead, however this does occur, for example the recent scandal in Flint, Michigan. When children are exposed to lead in their drinking water over a long period of time, it can have a negative impact on their mental and physical growth. In adults, it can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure.


Sometimes, a leak in the water pipes can cause contaminants such as faecal matter to leak into the water. The viruses and bacteria that are carried with the faecal matter are likely to cause anyone who drinks it to have a very upset stomach. These leaks can also allow pathogens into the water which cause viral diseases such as norovirus and hepatitis A.


Pesticides are applied to farmlands, gardens and lawns in order to protect plants from being destroyed by pests. The problem with pesticides is that they can make their way into ground water which may then be fed into drinking water supplies. Depending on the toxicity of the pesticide and the level of exposure, pesticides in your drinking water can have a very negative effect on your health, causing various neurological health issues such as memory loss and loss of coordination.

What can you do to minimise the risk?

Clearly, there are health risks involved when drinking tap water, so what can you do to minimise those risks? Our solution is to use a water distiller. Water distillers are easy to use, simply fill it up and leave it on for a few hours and you are left with pure water. This pure, distilled water will be 99.99% free of contaminants, eliminating the health risks related to regular tap water! You can either find out more about water distillers or purchase one online here.