Tap water - to drink or not to drink?

Do you drink the tap water?

  • Yes
  • No - because of bacteria etc
  • No - because of chemical pollution
  • No - both / not sure why
  • No - bottled water tastes better

0 voters

This morning I ran out of bottled water so I put unfiltered tap water in my water cooker, drank it, and I’m relieved to have made it through the day without incident. But what if I hadn’t cooked it – does anyone drink unfiltered tap water? As for bottled water, are there really any enforceable standards? My girlfriend gets upset when I buy cheap bottled water, but why should one trust any bottled water? Why should one trust that they weren’t filled straight from the faucet?

You will die, definately… :unamused: But who wouldn’t? sooner or later…

We trust the brand(s), and our luck.

There is a thread on this somewhere already in the machine…

Will drinking the water straight out of the tap hurt you? Depends on what you mean by “hurt.” You know that the Mormons put special “ingredients” in the main water system to make people more malleable.
The other problems include those pesky, giant boils that break out on your neck after a month or so, but then it makes begging easier.
I know a person who has been living here since 1991 and since he started drinking the water he has NEVER taken a single dump! Think of the savings on toilet paper! water! time on the crapper!

I remember reading two different reports in the newspapers here: The first one said that many of the bottled water companies just use filtered tap water, even though they advertise themselves as providing spring or mineral water. Something like two thirds of the companies sampled were guilty of this practice.

I also remember hearing that the quality of Taipei’s City water ain’t half bad. Supposed to be much better than in other places in Taiwan. The only hazard is if your water tank has algae in it, you might get the runs. Annual water tank cleaning and/or active use of the household water supply resulting in constant replenishment will take care of it. I’ve been drinking boiled water for the past 7 years with nary a side effect. But I have an iron stomach, so your mileage may vary. :slight_smile:

Wolf[quote]I know a person who has been living here since 1991 and since he started drinking the water he has NEVER taken a single dump! Think of the savings on toilet paper! water! time on the crapper![/quote]bullshit

The brands that passed the health inspections are: Volvic, Yes, and More. The problem with many of the others is not that they are tap water but that they are not properly sealed and handled during shipping, and storage. It’s little different back home in North America where most bottled water brands are said to be no more than bacteria in a bottle.

If you live in an area of Taipei that’s served by the Fetsui Reservoir your water supply should be fine. This dam is off limits to the public, unlike Shrmin Dam in Taoyuan where you can take a boat out. If you’re in southern Taipei your water comes from the rivers behind Xindian. Unfortunately one of the main water routes has an old garbage dump rotting away on its slopes. Refuse regulary drops spills into the water, especialy during taiphoons. Last years Nari brought so much garbage down into the river it caught the attention of local people (and local KMT maverick Apollo Chen). Apollo vowed to see the garbage cleaned up but for now all I think they have are nets preventing more garbage from sliding down into our drinking water.

Hmmm. Think I’m really going to buy me a reverse-osmosis system this weekend. :!:

I just boil the water that comes out of the tap and have never had any problems. I think the water that comes out of the tap in Taipei is probably fairly safe, but why bother with the 1% risk when it is easy to just boil water and be sure.

One percent risk of what do you think?

It is funny how people don’t really think about water. I have heard over the years that Taipei water is safe but the pipes that get this so called safe water from the water purification plant to your house is the problem.

So if you boil the hell out of this so called safe water you are effectively killing the bacteria, viruses and other unseeable creatures that could harm you, BUT what you don’t change are the chemicals, heavy metals, lead etc. that “could” be in so called safe water.

If it is the pipes that deliver the water from the purified source I would suspect that lead might be one of those things we might want to avoid.

This past week I have noticed that water in my apartment smells a lot like the summer pools I went to as a kid. Very strongly chlorinated. So drink at your own risk.

Also I read a report a few years ago about tests carried out on the commercial bottled waters and the report said that 7 of the 11 companies tested failed the minimum requirements. The kicker was they did not reveal which seven.

:shock: :cry: :unamused:

The water on it’s own is ok. It’s when contamination occurs from backflow, like from floods or sewage systems that the problem occurs. The other problem is the probable existence of lead piping in old areas and houses.

I am always amazed at how different the water tastes from brand to brand and even from bottle to bottle.
If the water has been distilled correctly and impurities removed to low levels they should taste about the same.

Definitely I’ve bought what amounts to filtered tap water from shops before.

Pure water in bottles cannot be ‘contaminated’. It doesn’t have any nutrients for bacteria or algae to live on and if the lid is tight they will have no oxygen. Therefore they can’t grow and reach large numbers where they could cause outbreaks of infection.

I can’t remember if they put fluoride in the water here.

Yes is one of the better brands here, according to my wife.

You can buy it for delivery to your house for a low cost(NT$10 per litre). I think the company has a banner at hell :wink:

We used to visit friends who lived near the Fetsui Reservoir, several times a month. To say that that area is off limits to the public is somewhat of an exaggeration. We took rafts out, went swimming, and of course there were always a lot of local people fishing there. Sometimes we even saw people with jet-skis, etc. There are some nearby illegal restaurants which dispose of a lot of their leftover food, etc., there, and we also saw little boys peeing directly into the Reservoir.

But I guess if you buy one of those triple-osmosis charcoal filtering ultraviolet/ultrasonic ozone-injected water purification systems which are sold here in Taiwan, you should be alright.

I heard that the locals freak out about the tap water but that it is actually relatively clean, i.e., relative to their freaking out. I think it is safe to drink, but I wouldn’t drink it. I once knew this Taiwanese family that lived in the Rocky Mountains with crystal clean tasty water. After 7 years in the USA living in the Rockies, they still boiled their water. So you see, I think it is left over from say 15-30 years ago, when yes, you had better boil the water. No one dare be the first to taste it without boiling it first.

The people in Hong Kong freak out about the local tap water too and would never drink. I heard it was safe, so I tried it once. Not sure what the official line from the Taiwan government is though. HK’s line was that it was safe, it was just that no one would believe them.

Anyway, I get those huge water jugs delivered to my home 5 super jugs at a time. They gave me a nice water cooler when I agreed to sign up for 70 jugs. Took me quite a while but I finally finished after about 1 year or so. Anyway, the taste is great and I never run out, if I do, I make a call and they come over immediately. Lot easier than boiling the water and cooling it down etc. I think it works out cheaper this way too!

By the way, Richard, don’t they purify the water after it comes out of the resevoir? The same as in the USA where they also fish and swim in water reserve lakes?

Two weeks ago I also went to the Fetsui Reservoir (inside of it) and have proved it as a really a restrictive area anainst public entering . Richard, Where is the nearby area you meantioned?? I got to tell only very few researching groups are allowed to enter the dam. The guide there told us they successfully convinced the local people to move out of the restrictive area and now there is only left three families. Those people live there all depand on the ferry as a transporation, offering by Reservoir Administration and the authority has no other methods to convince them moving out, but need to help them once they require the carrying, you know Taiwan is democracy…

The dam is regurly checked, So you should have confidence in it’s saftey. See more info.at feitsui.gov.tw/

If I were in a country where I could assure myself the safety of the tap water, some places like the surburbs in Australia, I would just happily follow the locals. Hobart, I think the Taiwanese family you said maybe quite weird.


How much is the per litre cost of that water deal, you got?

I met with a foreign water expert here once and what he told me was:

  1. Taipei’s water is wonderful mineral-wise, the problem is that it has a little too much chlorine.

  2. Kaohsiung’s water is too full of magnesium and should be avoided.

The water in the reservoir is probably somewhat ok, but what about all those old pipes carrying it to our homes and all that polluted water above ground seeping into the drinking water? It’s probably best to filter your water and then boil it. I heard from a local once that even the bottled water in Taiwan should be boiled before drinking it…

What are the other brands besides Volvic? Is H2O water, Cleanfield Pure water, O.K?

Yes! should be OK.

I think in most advanced countries chlorination of public tapwater has been superceded be ozone treatment. But chlorinated water keeps its disinfectant quality in the piping process, wheras ozone just sterilizes water in situ (it can become infected again if it encounters dirty pipes on the way to your household).
Would I rather rather piss my salary away buying bottled “Eau”, face a statistically insignificant chance of developing cancer through extra-chlorinated water or suffer a good battering from intestinal parasites, cholera, hepatitis etc …
Decisions, decisions!