Water's Good

Could You Be at Risk of Consuming Waterborne Diseases?

Posted On 05/01/2024 By iSpring Water Systems

A recent public health report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that 214 intestine-related disease outbreaks occurred from drinking water between 2015 and 2020 in 28 states that voluntarily reported outbreaks. 


According to the study, 80% of outbreaks were linked to public water systems as opposed to only 8% of outbreaks being linked to individual or private systems. The other outbreaks’ water sources are either unknown, not reported, or were linked to other systems. Of those affected at least 2,140 cases resulted in illness with 563 hospitalizations and 88 deaths. 


Key Points

  1. Legionella bacteria is the leading contributor to waterborne disease in people. 
  2. Prevention measures taken by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  3. Steps consumers can take to protect themselves using iSpring water filtration systems 


The Dangers of Waterborne Disease

While waterborne disease is not something that gets a great deal of press, this study illustrates we are vulnerable to being exposed to dangerous water contaminants even if our water source is municipal. The CDC reports that although the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water supplies, an estimated 7.2 million Americans get sick each year from waterborne diseases.  


Out of the diseases spread through water, Legionella bacteria was the most prevalent cause of the outbreaks according to the CDC’s report. Inhaling bacteria from contaminated water can lead to Legionnaires’ disease, which causes respiratory problems, coughing, and chest pain. This commonly occurs in hotels and other public places where contaminated water is left to sit in the pipes and the bacteria is able to thrive by feeding on a biofilm, waterborne germs living together in a group, that builds up on the inside of pipes, and other internal plumbing. 


In this study, the primary place of exposure to contaminated water occurred in healthcare facilities including long-term care, hospitals, and assisted living or rehab facilities. The second most common place was hotels, motels, lodges, and inns.  


What Can be Done to Prevent Waterborne Illnesses?

The CDC is taking steps to understand and prevent future water-related illnesses and outbreaks by monitoring and investigating outbreaks, developing new technology for detecting and analyzing pathogens, working with facilities to develop water management plans to prevent infections caused by biofilms in the plumbing, and researching antibiotic-resistant germs in water.  


According to Linda Yancey, the director of infection prevention at the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, tap water is typically safe to ingest. However, tap water should not be used in CPAP machines, to rinse nasal passages, in humidifiers, to clean contact lenses, or to clean open wounds.


There are measures people can take to protect themselves against these water contaminants including regularly cleaning all appliances and using a water filter labeled as “NSF 53” or “NSF 58.” Filters with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller are also effective. It is also recommended to use distilled water when flushing sinuses; however, it is not recommended to consume distilled water regularly because water is completely stripped of all nutrients in addition to contaminants during the distillation process. 


How Water Filtration Systems Can Help Protect You from Contaminants

According to the CDC, RO is also an effective way to remove bacteria and viruses. Reverse osmosis (RO) systems can remove up to 99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including vinyl chloride, chlorine, fluoride, lead (removes up to 98%), arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium, and more.


One of our NSF/ANSI 58 certified RO systems is our RCC7 water filtration system. This filter 


  1. is comprised of a five-stage filtration system including 
    1. a PP sediment filter that removes sediment, dust, sand, particles, dirt, and rust, 
    2. a GAC filter that removes chlorine, tastes,  odors, cloudiness, and colors, 
    3. a CTO carbon block filter that removes chloramine and harmful chemicals, 
    4. a 0.0001 micron RO membrane that effectively removes impurities, and
    5. a post-carbon filter that removes residual tastes and odors from the tank.
  2. conveniently fits under your kitchen sink.
  3. comes with a European-style high spout faucet or is easily able to be connected to your refrigerator’s water supply with our ICEK kit.
  4. features see-through 1st stage housing so the filter can easily be inspected


Our RCC7AK is another one of our featured NSF/ANSI 58 certified, under-the-sink reverse osmosis (RO) systems designed to remove contaminants down to 0.0001 microns while restoring the natural alkalinity and mineral balance of water with its 6-stage filtration system. Additionally, this filter  

  1. employs a second-stage GAC filter and a third-stage carbon block filter to effectively eliminate chlorine, unpleasant tastes, odors, cloudiness, and sediment.
  2. uses a pressurized tank to ensure a stable water flow.
  3. produces up to 75 gallons of filtered water per day.
  4. comes with a lead-free, solid brass faucet with a brushed nickel finish or, like the RCC7, can be connected to the refrigerator’s water supply using our ICEK kit. 


Lastly, our RO500AK-BN is the next-generation, tankless reverse osmosis filtration system that

  1. functions four times more efficiently than traditional RO systems providing a faster water flow and a higher pure-to-waste ratio saving water waste by up to 400% compared to traditional RO systems.
  2. contributes to reduced water bills and less water going down the drain because of its industry-leading pure-to-waste ratio of up to 2.5:1.
  3. employees a 1st-stage 2-in-1 composite Sediment and Carbon Block filter, a 2nd-stage advanced RO Membrane, and 3rd-stage Carbon Alkaline Filter.
  4. restores the natural alkalinity and mineral balance of water.
  5. produces up to 500 gallons of filtered water per day.


When investing in a reverse osmosis water filtration system for your home’s drinking water, you are protecting yourself and those you care about from far more. These powerful systems are able to remove countless contaminants that can pose serious health risks. 


At iSpring, we stand by our mission to provide customers with affordable options to ensure clean drinking water is accessible. If you have questions about these or any of our filtration systems, one of our customer service representatives are always here to help.