Untreated water is drinking water that has not been chemically treated, filtered, or boiled to eliminate infectious bacteria, viruses, and parasites (such as Giardia lamblia). These organisms can cause diarrhea and illness.
Many infections that result from drinking untreated water go away by themselves after a few days, but some require treatment.
Last Revised: February 21, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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