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Is tap water safe here?

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Frequently asked questions

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Boil water vigorously for 3 minutes and allow it to cool down to room temperature. If you add a pinch of salt the taste of the water will improve.
It depends on where you are. In countries where tap water is not safe, it is recommended to use bottled water or to boil tap water before using it to brush your teeth. The same applies for things like cleaning your lenses. Try to avoid ice cubes (they may be made from tap water), and do not eat raw fruits, vegetables and salads (these may be rinsed in tap water). Even when you prepare food, you should boil tap water before use. When tap water is officially safe, but drinking it is discouraged, you can generally use it for things like tooth brushing or cooking.
The reason why drinking tap water is discouraged varies. In some countries tap water is officially safe but it could still cause diarrhea or stomach aches, because it is chlorinated or because the composition is very different than what you are used to.
Some vendors re-use old water bottles. They fill them with tap water and (re) sell them as bottled water. If you want to help to prevent this, crush your water bottles after use.
Even when the water looks clear, it is nearly impossible to judge whether it is polluted or not. Upstream, waste water could have polluted the water. Therefore it is always recommended to boil water from natural sources before drinking it. Boil water vigorously for 3 minutes and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
The best method for making water safe to drink is to boil it. Boiling water will kill bacterial, parasitic, and viral causes of diarrhea. Boil water vigorously for 3 minutes and allow it to cool down to room temperature. If you add a pinch of salt the taste of the water will improve. If you cannot boil the water, you can filter it or (chemically) disinfect it.
Advanced water filters remove most bacteria and small organisms from water. There are various portable water filters for sale. Some portable filters do not effectively remove viruses, which means that after filtering it, you still need to disinfect the water chemically.
Pharmacies and some outdoor sports stores sell iodine tablets (tincture of iodine) which you can use to make water safe to drink. Follow the manufacturers instructions. Make sure you use the correct dosage and contact time (standing time between adding a chemical disinfectant to the water and drinking it). Continuous use of iodine for more than a few weeks at a time is not recommended.

Warnings:
• Cryptosporidium (a parasite that can cause diarrhea) and other coccidian parasites (e.g., Cyclospora and Toxoplasma) might not be killed by this method.
• Water that has been disinfected with iodine should not be used by pregnant women, people with thyroid problems and those with known hypersensitivity to iodine.
Vitens researched and collected the information at this website extremely carefully. Every advice has been checked using multiple sources. However, the situation in a country may change. Therefore we recommend confirming our advice with local information while at your destination.