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Old 02-17-2011, 09:06 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,957 posts, read 12,725,619 times
Reputation: 4973

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Chinese tap water is a toxic soup. Nobody drinks it.

But they do cook with it. So it can't be completely avoided even if you're trying.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:48 AM
 
230 posts, read 905,094 times
Reputation: 233
I´m American and I lived in Mexico city for a year and if I got really thirsty and had forgotten to buy water I would drink the tap water and never got sick. I think Mexico city may be better than the rest of the country though. I was more worried about long term exposure to toxins than immediate sickness. Here in Rio I have never heard of anybody getting sick from the tap water, but most people don´t recommend drinking it. Most people have filters. I did drink it from the tap though when my filter was broken and never got sick. I think in general the water is ok here because it comes from a reserve in the mountains but could get contaminated during the delivery process.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,968,624 times
Reputation: 36644
There is a funny story about Hong Kong. Everybody in Hong Kong boils their drinking water. I asked my friend, who has a BS degree, why that is. He explained that the plumbing in Hong Kong is so old, and constructed of pipes made largely of heavy metals, that there is a lot of heavy-metal contamination that leaches out of the plumbing. I pointed out that boiling would have no effect on that, and he replied of course not, in fact boiling the water actually increases the concentration of the heavy metals. I then asked him if he boils his water, and he said "Yes". (He lives at home with parents.)

Considering how many Americans refuse to ever drink any tapwater anywhere in the USA, I have concluded that it does less harm than people think it does, and it is a form of unfounded hysteria.

When traveling, I drink the tap water everywhere, unless there is an obvious and conspicuous reason not to, such as recent flooding and standing water. But for a traveler, especially in the tropics where most "risky" water is found, the health danger of dehydration is significantly greater than the risk of drinking the water, and often, you can't carry enough water. I've drunk tapwater in 120 countries, and as far as I know, I have had no ill effects, and touching doorknobs (or even the faucet) is more hazardous than drinking the water.

I think ThomasR's survey might not necessarily reflect the safety of water. People might be dissatisfied with their water for many reasons, including regularity of supply, taste, smell, cloudiness, sediment, family tradition, national publicity, etc., none of which have any significant proportion to the safety of drinking it. In Nicaragua, for example, everyone very proudly points out that all tap water everywhere in Nicaragua is perfectly safe to drink. It might not be any safer than anywhere else, but they have been told that so many times that the myth (if it is a myth) has become dogma.

Last edited by jtur88; 02-18-2011 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 2,291,506 times
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Years ago I visited Hot Springs , Arkansas. Downtown near the baths was a water spigot, clearly marked as being radioactive and containing Radon. Old folks were lined up with jugs taking it home.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:37 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,852 posts, read 35,132,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccarley View Post
Years ago I visited Hot Springs , Arkansas. Downtown near the baths was a water spigot, clearly marked as being radioactive and containing Radon. Old folks were lined up with jugs taking it home.
Maybe they were going to go home and dump it in their bath water.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 2,291,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Maybe they were going to go home and dump it in their bath water.

20yrsinBranson
I think they drank it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil
3,981 posts, read 6,791,114 times
Reputation: 2460
Brazilians usually don't drink tap water. In some cities, the government says the piped water is safe for drinking, but people don't believe it... So, most people in Brazil drink mineral water, sold in large 20-liter plastic bottles. Almost every house has a peculiar device to store the mineral water, with the large bottle turned upside-down above it, and a small faucet to get the water out of it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Quakertown, Pa., USA
385 posts, read 859,156 times
Reputation: 633
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There is a funny story about Hong Kong. Everybody in Hong Kong boils their drinking water. I asked my friend, who has a BS degree, why that is. He explained that the plumbing in Hong Kong is so old, and constructed of pipes made largely of heavy metals, that there is a lot of heavy-metal contamination that leaches out of the plumbing. I pointed out that boiling would have no effect on that, and he replied of course not, in fact boiling the water actually increases the concentration of the heavy metals. I then asked him if he boils his water, and he said "Yes". (He lives at home with parents.)
In mainland China it's not so much the heavy metals but more about the living things in the water that had me and most people worrying so everybody boils the water.
Don't even brush your teeth with unboiled water or maybe use bottled water, I did it once because I forgot and boy did I regret it for two days even after the Med.'s
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:42 AM
 
Location: England
3,261 posts, read 3,705,185 times
Reputation: 3256
Before I retired I was a civil & enviromental engineer, I remember reading a report from the Enviromental Working Group, (EWG) which is a non profit organization.
"They had tested municipal water in 42 states and discovered 260 contaminants in public water supplies. Of those, 141 were unregulated chemicals for which public health officials have no safety standards, much less methods for removing them".

So when I travel to the US I drink bottled water.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:45 AM
 
2,226 posts, read 5,108,426 times
Reputation: 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Gazela View Post
Last night I was thinking about how we (Americans) were warned not to drink water in Morocco when I first went there, and we got the same warning about visiting our "neighbors to the south" Mexico. I tried the waters of the respective countries and you know the rest of the story.

+What is it about the water that we cannot drink it without having "problems?"
+Why can some foreigners drink the water and others cannot? (for example, Spaniards could drink Moroccan water, and Americans couldn't)
+In which other countries should Americans avoid drinking water?
-------------


Spaniards' stomachs are lined with tarpolin, a tissue that bars contaminants present in Morrocan water from entering into their blood stream. Spaniards' behinds are also prepared for Morrocan toilet paper and they don't care if Morrocan drycleaners leave their shirts with a ring around the collar.

Last edited by Manolón; 02-21-2011 at 04:55 AM..
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