Right now, it is impossible to listen to or read any news without mention of COVID-19. Whether you are afraid of the virus or not, it could be that the quality of your well water has something to do with the likelihood of you or your family catching or becoming very ill with the virus.
If you have a weakened immune system, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you have a higher likelihood of contracting COVID and becoming severely ill with it. The CDC includes warnings for those suffering from heart failure, diabetes, COPD and liver disease, stating that people with these conditions may lack the ability to effectively fight off this infection.
How does one’s immune system get weakened? Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. What can you do to strengthen your immune system and make sure you stay strong?
Contaminants and Your Immune System
Your body has to fight off an innumerable number of environmental pollutants every day. If your well water also contains some contaminants such as bacteria or fungi, your body is further taxed to continuously fight off those elements as well. Fighting them off can cause your immune system to be weakened.
Private well water with undetected contaminants weakens the immune systems of members of even healthy households. The presence of contaminants in water can lead to health issues, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders.
Those who are particularly susceptible to being weakened by contaminants include:
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- The elderly
- People whose immune systems are already compromised because of HIV infections, chemotherapy, or medications prescribed after organ transplants
There are certain contaminants in tap or well water that can pose a greater threat to the human immune system:
- Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs): These man-made chemicals can get into bodies of water that connect with public water supplies. If someone drinks water containing PFCs, it can decrease his or her immune cell population.
- Cryptosporidium: This parasite is responsible for most waterborne illnesses.
- Chlorine: Chlorine, a disinfectant, reacts with organic matter in water to produce compounds known as trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs can damage a person’s immune system when inhaled, for example, by breathing in water vapor in the shower.
What is the Solution to Contaminated Well Water?
You should test your well water at least every two years and more often if you suspect contamination for bacteria, fungi, metal and other harmful impurities. Then you should follow the water lab recommendations for disinfecting the well or eliminating chemical or mineral contaminants. A second test should be done to verify that harmful chemicals, minerals or bacteria are now below acceptable levels. These actions can help you keep your family’s immune systems robust so you are able to resist COVID-19 as well as other viruses and bacteria.