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Holiday Accidents » Contaminated water


When travelling abroad it is wise, as a rule, to stick to bottled water so as to avoid sustaining personal injury or illness. While water in the UK can sometimes taste quite unpleasantly of the chemicals used to treat it, our water is nonetheless fairly safe to consume. However, certain countries do not have such sophisticated water cleansing systems and a quick sip could end up in a holiday accident claim being sought after.

Countries which do not have abundant fresh water supplies will often reclaim their water. Reclaimed water is essentially wastewater that has been treated and purified for reuse. Those countries most likely to use reclaimed water are those with arid climates, high populations, or that are located close to oceanic saltwater intrusion.

Reclaimed water should not be directly mixed with drinking water for a variety of reasons:

  • The water was previously sewage and is not that desirable to many.
  • Small amounts of pathogens and pharmaceutical chemicals are able to pass through the filtering process.
  • Many utilities providing reclaimed water for non-drinking uses fail to treat the water to drinking water standards.

Some regulatory bodies ban people from drinking, bathing in or filing swimming pools with reclaimed water so that holiday makers and locals alike are not put at risk of infection. But we may not always be aware of where our water came from when abroad so it is important to be extra vigilant in order to avoid having to make a holiday accident claim.

Some say that the water in London has been drunk five times before it arrived at the tap but others argue that this is an absurd exaggeration. Whatever the state of UK drinking water, it seems that it is safer than the water in some popular holiday destinations.

The table below shows the percentage of population per country with access to safe drinking water, courtesy of UNICEF:

Country % Country % Country % Country %
Albania 97 Algeria 89 Azerbaijan 78 Brazil 87
Chile 93 Cuba 91 Egypt 97 Iraq 85
Iran 92 Mexico 88 Morocco 80 Peru 80
Syria 80 Sudan 67 South Africa 86 Turkey 82
Tunisia 80 Venezuela 83 Zimbabwe 83    

Advertisements for holidays in resorts in Cuba, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey and Tunisia are all commonly seen in travel agents windows. Your tour operator will usually advise you to drink bottled water or boil any tap water before consuming it abroad. Failure to do this may mean that you are exposed to harmful bacteria that resides in the water and that you end up sustaining serious personal injury or illness.

If, however, while in a foreign country you take care to always drink bottled water you should be wary of other ways that you could be exposed to contaminated drinking water. For example, if you eat a salad in a hotel where you are staying and the salad has been washed in the local tap water, you may still develop stomach complaints or at worst a horrible illness for which you may later seek to make a no win, no fee claim for personal injury compensation. Types of illness that may be developed include:

Cholera an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of faecal contaminated food or water, usually characterised by dehydration, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea.

Typhoid a serious, highly infectious disease caused by the Salmonella typhosa bacteria. Typhoid is intestinal inflammation and ulceration and symptoms include a high fever from 39C to 40C that rises slowly, a slow pulse rate, general weakness, headaches, lack of appetite, severe diarrhoea, stomach pains and a rash of flat rose-coloured spots called the rose spots.

Dysentery a severe illness caused by ingestion of food or water containing bacteria. This can result in terrible diarrhoea with blood in the faeces.

It is possible in some circumstances for no win, no fee solicitors to successfully claim holiday accident compensation for each of the above diseases.

Make a holiday accident claim through us today


If you would like to make a holiday accident claim against your tour operator after your involvement in a non-fault accident while on your holidays, then we are at hand to help.

We may be able to help you to claim for slips and trips in public places, road accidents abroad and the contraction of personal injury or illness at the hands of a third party.

HappyClaim are associated with a panel of personal injury solicitors who are experts at dealing with successful holiday claims and we will appoint the most appropriate solicitor to your case. Working under the no win, no fee agreement, your personal injury solicitor will talk you through each stage of the case in plain English and fight to get you the most compensation available.

To find out more about how you can make a no win, no fee claim through us today, or leave us a call back request so that we can get back to you at the time you specify.

Make a hassle-free, cost-free, no win, no fee holiday accident claim with HappyClaim on 01582 437070.