Water Assault: 12 Ways Water Can Kill You

Despite being the source of life and an essential element for survival, water harbors a darker side. It can turn deadly, morphing from a life-sustainer to a life-taker. In this article, we’ll explore 12 potential threats related to water and ways to stay vigilant to ensure your safety.


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The most apparent danger related to water is drowning. Drowning is a significant cause of unintentional injury death globally, with a high number of annual fatalities.

It can happen in any body of water, from a bathtub to the ocean. Decrease incidents and safeguard lives by providing supervision during swimming.

Waterborne Diseases

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Water can harbor harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause waterborne diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, and hepatitis.

Approximately 1.8 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces, leading to these illnesses. The best way to protect yourself is by boiling or treating your water before consumption.

Electrocution in Water

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Electrocution can occur in water when faulty electrical wiring or outlets are near a pool, lake, or pond. It is essential to have proper grounding and ensure that all electrical sources are safely away from any body of water. Keep yourself safe by installing ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) near wet areas.


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Prolonged exposure to cold water can lead to hypothermia, as the body loses heat faster than it can produce. Wear appropriate clothing and limit exposure in cold conditions. Always carry extra clothing and blankets in case of an emergency.


dehydrated hiking woman
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Although counterintuitive, water can also cause dehydration. When you exert yourself in the heat or consume alcohol without drinking enough water, it can cause severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding overexertion in hot weather.

Water Intoxication (Hyponatremia)

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It is possible to drink too much water, leading to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication. It occurs when excessive amounts of water disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance. Be aware of your water intake, and replenish electrolytes through food or sports drinks.

Rip Currents

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Rip currents are strong currents that can unexpectedly pull swimmers away from the shore, potentially leading to dangerous and life-threatening situations. To safely escape a rip current, swim parallel to the shore, as this allows you to gradually move out of the current’s pull and make your way back to safety.

Unsafe Water Activities

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Engaging in water activities like cliff jumping, diving into shallow water, or swimming in rough conditions can result in severe injury or even loss of life.

Adhere to posted signs and warnings, never swim alone, and avoid engaging in risky behaviors. Safety should always be the top priority when enjoying water-based adventures.

Toxic Algal Blooms

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Algal blooms occur when algae multiply in bodies of water, often due to nutrient pollution. Some types of algal blooms produce toxins that can harm humans and animals. Avoid swimming or coming into contact with discolored or smelly water, and report any potential algal colors to authorities.


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Heavy rainfall over a prolonged period can lead to floods, which pose significant threats to life, property, and infrastructure. The rapid accumulation of water can overwhelm drainage systems and cause rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water to overflow. In turn, this can result in drowning.


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Tsunamis are powerful, destructive waves that can occur after an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or underwater landslide. They have the potential to cause catastrophic damage and loss of life. It is crucial to be aware of any tsunami warnings and seek higher ground immediately in a coastal area.

Water Pollution

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Water pollution is a global issue that affects both humans and wildlife. Human activities like industrial waste, sewage, and agricultural runoff can cause it.

Drinking or coming into contact with polluted water can lead to various health problems. Reduce your carbon footprint and support initiatives that promote clean water for all.

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This article was produced on Health Makes You.

Yvonne Alieme

Yvonne Alieme is a passionate writer dedicated to reviving society's reading culture. She strives to inspire and educate others through her work, and her commitment to promoting literacy and knowledge-sharing makes her a valuable contributor to the community.

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