As most people are well aware, the immediate impacts of flooding can be devastating. These include loss of human life, damage to property, destruction of crops and loss of livestock.
But floodwaters can also pollute our drinking water. This can lead to indirect effects that have overall health implications such as damage to our water supply systems, sewage disposal systems and an insufficient supply of drinking water.
It’s important to protect yourself and your family from illnesses associated with floodwaters and to monitor your drinking water quality during or after a flood.
Did you know that in Australia, floods are the most expensive type of natural disaster with direct costs? In fact, over the period of 1967 to 2005, flood damage cost an average of $377 million per year!
Until recently, the most costly year for floods in Australia was 1974, when floods affecting New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland resulted in a total cost of $2.9 billion.
Damage to public infrastructure affects a far greater proportion of the population than those whose homes or businesses are directly inundated by the flood. In particular, flood damage to roads, rail networks and key transport hubs, such as shipping ports, can have significant impacts on regional and national economies.
Floods tend to further degrade already degraded systems. Removal of vegetation in and around rivers, increased channel size, dams, levee bank and catchment clearing all work to degrade the hill slopes, rivers and floodplains and increase the erosion and transfer of both sediment and nutrients.
While cycling of sediments and nutrients is essential to a healthy system, too much sediment and nutrients entering a waterway have negative impacts on downstream water quality.
Other negative effects include loss of habitat, dispersal of weed species, the release of pollutants, lower fish production, loss of wetlands function and loss of recreational areas.
Many of our coastal resources, including fish and other forms of marine production, are dependent on the nutrients supplied from the land during floods. The negative effects of floodwaters on coastal marine environments are mainly due to the introduction of excess sediment and nutrients, and pollutants such as chemicals, heavy metals and debris. These can degrade aquatic habitats, lower water quality, reduce coastal production and contaminate coastal food resources.
During a flood, there is an increased risk that drinking water may become polluted with contaminants that may be present in the floodwater.
Not only does this harm our aquatic ecosystems, but the pollutants also reach the ground water.
Water filtration is a method used to remove or reduce impurities in the water.
A good water filter acts like a sieve to remove unwanted particles from the water but leaves all the important salts and minerals in. This filtration method is also sometimes called the ‘adsorption method’.
And this is where a substance is used, typically carbon, to make the contaminants in the water adhere to the pores within the carbon.
All water filter systems at Water Filters Australia filter your water three times before it reaches your mouth.
So a good water filter system takes out all the bad stuff like chlorine, dirt, dust, rust, and cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium but keeps in all those important salts and minerals to keep us healthy.
At Water Filters Australia, we are all about making filtered water accessible and affordable for Australian households. You can browse our range of water filtration systems and start to experience the benefits of filtered water on water quality.
Read more interesting filtered water facts.