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What Happens If You Drink Moldy Water: Risks & Precautions

What happens if you drink moldy water

Water experts don’t recommend drinking water from a moldy bottle as the mold present can travel inside your body and can make you sick.

They declare water bottle mold dangerous as it may inflict mold poisoning, abrupt infections, nausea, respiratory issues, diarrhea, etc. 

Although EPA has not given any safe limit certification for mold in drinking water, the Swedish authorities have declared that the safe limit of mold in water is 100 CFU/100 mL. 

You can detect mold in your drinking water from the musty odor in your tap water or biofilm buildup in your faucets. However, testing mold in water with the help of a testing kit will give you a sure-shot result. 

So, what happens if you drink moldy water? Continue reading for an in-depth guide on the risks of drinking moldy water and how to get rid of it!

😲What Happens If You Drink Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that is present in the moist atmosphere, including air, water, near pipe/window/rooftop leaks, etc.

They can be either black or white and also possess the ability to survive in extremely harsh conditions. When present in a normal amount, these molds are safe from posing any health hazards. 

However, when the amount of the same molds crosses the limit of 100 CFU/100 mL, it may lead to health risks for individuals, especially:

  • Infants and kids
  • Pregnant women
  • People susceptible to allergic reactions
  • People with the weak immune system
  • Asthma patients
  • Patients with chronic respiratory problems
  • Aged people

Some of the short-term effects of mold exposure through drinking water or drinking moldy water are:

  • Sore throat and coughing 
  • Sinus
  • Nasal congestion or irritation
  • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • Headache 
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Sneezing 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Bleeding coming from the nose
  • Rashes, hives, or other skin irritations
Also Read: Pink Bacteria In Bathroom Water

☘ What Happens If You Drink Black Mold?

Black Mold, also known as toxic black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum (atra), is assumed to be deadly for infants and toddlers. 

In general, molds can’t be deadly, be they black or white. However, old, young, and immune-system-compromised people can get undesirable side effects by consuming this mold. 

Recent News!

Recently it’s in the news that a lady named Honesthaley found an unsavory quantity of black mold within her spouse’s reusable bottle (that has made her husband sick). 

She shared the video of cleaning the bottle with mold, which has driven the interest of many people. In the 5-second video clip, she explained and showed how she rinsed out the molds by placing a cloth over the moldy water-filled container. 

😬How Sick Can You Get From Drinking Mold Long-Term?

Moldy water exposure on your body may have many long-term effects too. Such effects include:

  • Upper or lower respiratory problems
  • Body organ damage
  • Asthma development in children
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Legionnaire’s disorder
  • Mold allergy development
  • Fatigue  

👨‍⚕️So, When To Visit The Doctor’s Chamber? 

Seek medical attention immediately as soon as you encounter the symptoms of:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Breathing complications
  • Unexpected skin irritation
  • Persistent sinus/nasal congestion
  • Sneezing, chronic coughing
  • Continual bleeding of the nose
  • Periodic asthma attacks

Contact the doctor immediately. He will confirm whether the symptoms are because of mold or not and will prescribe medicines and treatment procedures accordingly. 

Also Read: What Happens When You Drink Shower Water 

🤔How Do I Know If My Water Has Mold [5 Simple Ways!]

Here are 5 signs for primary confirmation of the presence of mold in drinking water:

1️⃣ Musty Smell In Tap Water

  • Run your water from the tap or your fridge. If you find a weird sour odor, it is likely that mold is present in your water.
  • Let the water run for some time to detect how much mold is present in your tap water.
  • If the odor continues to come and stays for a lengthy time, the amount of mold in your house’s tap water is significant. 

2️⃣ Biofilm Buildup In Faucets

  • Watch closely your faucets and the areas surrounding them.
  • If you find the existence of any biofilm there, that means mold is present in your water. 

3️⃣ You Can See Mold In The Toilet Tank

  • Check out your household water tank or toilet tank. If you find the cisterns lying full of mold, your suspicion is true. Mold is present in the water. 
  • If you get an irresistible gust of a sour, musty smell after opening your tank, then the mold has formed and traveled all the way from the plumbing system. It is now getting infested everywhere surrounding your home. This is because it is airborne in nature. 

4️⃣ The Moldy Smell Of Hair After Washing It With Water

  • Sniff your hair after your bath.
  • If you get a faintly sour smell from your hair, mold has likely developed in your home water system. 

5️⃣ Your Family Members Are Diagnosed With Penicillium, etc.

Molds in water may cause serious health issues if exposed to your body long-term. So, if you or your family member has recently been diagnosed with diseases like penicillium, it’s time for you to take steps against the molds in your water. 

However, if your water is smelling or tasting musty/ moldy/ mildew-like, you are seeing biofilm buildup over your faucets/fixtures, or your family member is just been detected with an Aspergillus/ Penicillium/ Cladosporium infection, and you want to satisfy yourself with a sure-shot result, you may go for a mold test through mold testing kits.

The kits are available at MyTapScore

The Steps To Test Mold Using Kits Are:

  • Take a sterile eye dropper and put off your home water supply over the mold testing kit. 
  • Keep the kit safely in a different place and ensure it doesn’t get tampered with. 
  • Keep the kit and the water sample in the same place without moving or touching them for a week. 
  • See if any mold has grown over the testing kit. If no mold is present, then you have clean water at your home; otherwise, there’s mold in your tap water. 
  • Repeat the same steps with another new testing kit to confirm the result.
Also Read: How To Test Water pH ?

✅ How Do You Get Rid Of Mold In Water? [5 Ways]

Here are some ways to save yourself from mold in water: 

Method EffectivenessEase of Implementation Steps in BriefCost Involved 
Regular maintenance of drains and pipesHighly effectiveModerately easyAsk a professional to check and do maintenance of the system periodicallyIt depends 
Regularly clean reusable water bottles Highly effectiveEasyGet a sterile cloth or bottle cleaner and with the help of it clean the bottle after each use. To clean the bottle, you should use high-quality rice, baking soda, hot water, and detergent. Zero cost
Regularly cleaning faucet aerators Highly effective EasyDetach the aerators from the faucets, put them under water and wash it properlyZero cost
Prevent standing water in your house Highly effectiveEasyClear away the standing water inside or near your house. Don’t allow the water to stand. Zero cost
Invest in a good water purification systemSupremely effectiveModerately easyPurchase a water purification system or filter and call a professional to install it on your houseDepends on the type of water filter you purchase. 

1️⃣ Regular Maintenance Of Drains And Pipes

Leaking of pipes results in water leakage, that is, moistening of the areas inside the pipes and the surrounding areas, which in turn gives birth to molds.

Remember that:

Drain water may sometimes become stagnant, resulting in mold growth. Regular maintenance of drains and pipes saves them from leakage and other problems. Thus, it prevents the growth and development of molds in water. 

How Effective Is It?

This method is highly effective as it directly curbs mold growth. It does so by cutting the moistened or water-stagnated area that they require for growth. 

Is It Easy to implement?

The method is moderately easy to implement as you have to take the help of a professional to execute the method or to fix the leaking pipes. 

Steps In Brief:

  • Call an experienced professional service provider.
  • Ask him to check your total plumbing and drainage systems. 
  • Fix him for the periodic maintenance of the systems
  • Keep your eyes on the plumbing and drainage systems regularly, and if necessary, take his help and fix the problems.

Cost involved:

The cost depends upon the professional and the input material costs required to carry out the steps as per municipal guidelines. 

2️⃣ Regularly Clean Reusable Water Bottles

Using reusable water bottles without regularly cleaning them may invite unwanted molds to form in them. So, regular cleaning of these bottles is necessary to prevent molds and murky smells. 

How Effective Is It?

Cleaning water bottles daily greatly prevents molds as the molds don’t get the opportunity to grow inside the bottles. 

Is It Easy To Implement? 

The process is relatively easy to implement. You only have to give a slight effort to clean the bottle regularly. 

Steps In Brief: 

  • Rinse the moldy water bottle with hot water.
  • Put one-third cup of dry and raw rice and one-third cup of baking soda within the moldy water bottle to remove the dried-on particles and odor. The baking soda will help disinfect the bottle. 
  • Fill half of the bottle with hot water.
  • Pour a few drops of dishwasher liquid detergent into the bottle. 
  • Put a bottle brush inside the bottle and clean the bottle by whirling the brush inside it.  
  • Remove the bottle brush from the bottle. 
  • Close the cover tightly and shake the bottle energetically to remove the water bottle mold trapped in the bottle. 
  • Now, throw out the water slowly in the sink after opening the cover so that the water bottle mold gets eliminated. 
  • Rinse the water bottle very well so that it becomes totally clean

Cost Involved: 

As such, there will be no expense for this process. However, you must purchase baking soda, liquid detergent, and dry uncooked rice to execute this process which requires a slight expenditure.  

3️⃣ Regularly Cleaning Faucet Aerators

Regular use of faucet aerators without cleaning may help build some molds within them or surrounding them.

Note That:

Regular cleaning is necessary to prevent mold. It would be best if you also replaced the aerators every year. 

How Effective Is It? 

This strategy for preventing mold formation is highly beneficial.

Is It Easy To Implement? 

The process is manageable as it only involves regularly cleaning the aerators with a mold control solution. 

Steps In Brief: 

  • Separate the aerators from your home’s faucets 
  • Hold them under water and wash them well with the help of a detergent 
  • Rinse the aerators and soak the rinsed water with a towel.
  • Put the aerators back in their places. 

Cost Involved: 

The process doesn’t owe you any expenditure except for the following:

  • Mold control solution cost and 
  • The aerators’ annual replacement cost.  
Also Read: Top Faucet Finishes For Hard Water

4️⃣ Prevent Standing Or Stagnant Water In Your House

Standing / stagnant water always lends the mold spores a facility for their appearance as molds get facilitated by various moistened and damp settings.

So, staving off stagnant or standing water from your dwelling or tidying up the stagnant water within twenty-four hours reduces the chance of mold formation.

Besides, whenever you notice any wet area, it is smart to dry it up instantly. 

How Effective Is It? 

Preventing standing water to form in your house acts great for staving off molds. 

How Easy Is It To Implement? 

The process is quite susceptible as you only have to inspect the standing water, if any is present, in your house and drain it out.

Steps In Brief: 

  • Check if there is any standing water or wet area in your house. 
  • If found, clear away the standing water and wipe the wet area. 
  • Allow the wiped-out area to dry.

Cost Involved: 

You don’t have to pay a single penny for this procedure. 

5️⃣ Purchase A Good Water Purification System

Installing a promising off-the-line water purification or filtration system for your entire building is an incredible way to eliminate fungal contaminants involving mold spores from your everyday drinking water.

It’s a proven method that is based on record. It keeps undesirable mold spores from entering your water supply without using any chemicals, salt, or chlorine. 

In case you are not financially capable of buying a whole house system for water purification, you can also go for a drinking water purifier or a shower filter. 

How Effective Is It? 

This method is the best way to stop mold spores from permeating your drinking water and prevent you from drinking moldy water. It’s supremely effective. 

How Easy Is It To Implement? 

This technique for mold spores prevention is moderately easy because it requires the involvement of the plumber or any other professional service giver. 

Steps In Brief: 

  • Use your kit to test whether mold is in your water. 
  • In case you find molds in your home water, go to the shop and purchase a good water purification system. 
  • Call the plumber or the professional service giver for its installation. 

Cost Involved: 

You will need to spend money on the water purifier cost, which varies according to the type, brand, and quality. 

🔎What To Do if You Drink Moldy Water FAQs

What causes mold in water?

The nutrients existing in the water trap various molds in it. Then, those molds, in the shape of a mat, flatten themselves above the water surface, thus generating spores. In water with scarce or zero nutrients, it becomes difficult for the mold to grow as it will perish at the very beginning due to the shortage of nutrients.

Can mold grow in filtered water?

Yes, mold has the ability to grow in filtered water in case the water filter you use in your house is not tidied up or maintained properly and regularly. This is because water filters carelessly used without any maintenance or cleaning may arrest mold in them, which then travels through the filtered drinking water to your body and victimizes your health.

What kind of mold comes from water damage?

If your home has water damage, it may trap the mold, Chaetomium, towards it. This mold usually grows in wet and dark atmospheres. They are equivalent to black-colored molds, and you will discover them in places like drywall, carpets, wallpaper, etc. They thrive in a similar environment in which the black molds grow.

Can mold grow inside a water bottle?

Yes, mold can grow inside a reusable water bottle if it is not cleaned properly. This is because a reusable water bottle usually remains moist, and this environment is ideal for molds to grow.

How long does it take for mold to grow in a water bottle?

Mildew or mold naturally takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours from the moment of water exposure before they initiate their growth in a soggy water bottle. Once it starts growing, it grows exponentially until you take the necessary steps to eliminate it. Mold elimination is possible only when you completely cut the moisture source.

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