Giardiasis and Why You Never Want to Get It

Water Treatment System Design Consultants, Affordable Installation, Safety & Hygiene

Water TreatmentGiardia is a nasty little parasite that can cause Giardiasis often requiring a lengthy hospital stay! It exists in contaminated water, and ingestion can result in “projectile” vomiting and severe diarrhoea. These facts became all too clear to unsuspecting lifeboat volunteer, David Deveney after a standard river training exercise. He was exposed to the bacteria, which is linked to sewage, after 2 hours in the River Severn in Wales. An investigation found that there is an 80% chance that the parasite came from human sewage.

Figures show that in 2021, sewage was spilt into rivers in Wales over 95,000 times and in excess of 791,000 hours. However the giardiasis has not been definitely linked with sewage or spills in Wales. Welsh Water stated that spills had a “a limited impact” on Welsh rivers such as the River Severn and River Wye.

Mr Deveney, a lifeboat training manager with the Severn Area Rescue Association in Beachley, became ill after instructing volunteers. He was showing them how to enter and exit the water safely, which involved him being submerged. Shortly after he emerged from the river, he became ill for 3 days which he spent in hospital before being discharged. He was home about a week but had to return to the hospital for another 5 days!

He was off work for three and a half weeks and said “I’ve been through physical hell with the after-effects of the contaminated water.” Giardiasis is a notifiable illness, meaning it had to be reported to Public Health Wales (PHW) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and also authorities in England. NRW says “bacteria, viruses, and toxic algae may be present in some water” and to avoid water that “looks or smells bad”.

Brookshaw Stuart offer an extremely high standard of water treatment plant installation and maintenance, ensuring reliable and smooth functioning.


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