January 14, 2016

Expat Guide: Is it okay to drink water from tap?

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  • Health is wealth. Which is why, it is important that you should check if the food and drinks you consume can affect your wellness positively. You need to know if these are safe, because you might end up contracting illness.

    tap-waterDRINKING FROM TAP? Read on the article to know if it is safe or not. Photo grabbed from banthebottle.net

    When it comes to water, you should know if it is drinkable or not. There are lots of researches made whether one should drink distilled or tap water. In Metro Manila, it is NOT ADVISABLE to drink tap water. Although it may be safe, as it can be used for cleaning or brushing your teeth, people do not really use it for drinking as it may be contaminated.

    According to a Rappler interview with former Health secretary Enrique Oña, “clear water is not necessarily safe to drink.” But if tap water is your only choice, you can still do so as long as you purify it.

    When purifying, the water should be filtered to remove any impurities that it may bring. The easiest way to purify water is through boiling. When water is boiled, it kills the germs that you may get if it is contaminated. Also, you can use chlorine solutions to help you disinfect the water.

    The best thing to do is buy bottled water which is distilled or purified. That way, you know the water has passed certain standards that make it safe for drinking. Even though tap water can still be safe, you should take all precautionary measures to ensure that you don’t harm yourself by drinking contaminated water. Better safe than sorry!

    Source: rappler.com

    Recent Comments

    Thanks for all the input. Quite useful. Just making sure due to COVID situation. Y’all stay safe!

    7 months ago


    10 months ago

    I’ve been here 5 years (Philippines). Decided to vacation in Samar. We’ve always drank either bottled water or water from a nearby water bottle store (Big blue 10-20 gallon containers)

    I’m shocked yet not surprised at one guy that mentioned “You can’t even trust the water boy” that is possibly the first time my eyes are now wide open. We often order water to be delivered to our door.by a water boy.
    Do I continue to give this kid tips? Quite healthy tips too. I think I’m going to try the boiling water method. Just woke up. 5am. Had one coffee and the waters ran out.

    Thanks for some great advise. I should of googled this years ago. I’ve been a ten year UK expat. First Thailand now Philippines. Never occurred to me to boil water then refrigerating it. I’ll be doing that from now on.

    one year ago

    Im from Australia and from all my travel all around the Phillipines it self always without doubt boil water or get bottled water. The only safe option from tap was from the sofitel hotel in manila as they have filtration systems in place to accommodate for westerners bodies who havent acclimated to the water source there. In the province areas that are coastal even though underground water is pumped up still filter and boil.

    one year ago

    In most European countries, generally in cities, the tap water is chlorinated and 100% safe to drink. Chlorine isn’t 100% harmless. It might cause stone to be built in one’s person kidneys but it only affects relatively small percentage of population, most people will never have any issues. In villages however water isn’t chlorinated but is better and safer as is natural and dug deep from the ground. No dangerous bacteria present but you will get diarrhea for 3-5 days until your body gets accosumized to a bacteria present in the water. In the Philippines, however, is completely different story. You can’t even trust delivery boy to bring you safe to drink water. I would love installing “equipment” for draining natural water from deep underground but I am still concerned about its safety.

    2 years ago

    Plastics as packaging is harmful to health, and most water containers are plastics.

    2 years ago

    I suggest buy an actual water purifier that gets your water supply are in stainless steel and filters clean water

    2 years ago

    I spoke to a friend who happens to work at Manila Water, she mentions that they add regulated chlorine levels to the tap water, and that tap water is safe to drink (at least within its jurisdiction). I am originally from the US, and so I grew up on tap water, as we chlorinate our tap in the US as well. Since moving to Quezon City, I have been filtering my own water, but apparently this is unnecessary (it adds extra safety, but it would still be unnecessary if the water is already being disinfected by chlorine). My recommendation is do your own research (call and ask your water company), know how the plumbing in your house works and what the source of your water is, but that as far as the city goes, perhaps there is a modern misconception about the quality of tap water, with the predominant (but likely false) notion that is it unsafe to drink.

    3 years ago

    To the person who thinks tap water is safer, you gotta realize that it’s a hit or miss in the Philippines or in most third world countries in general. In some parts of Cebu and Manila it is fine because of built-in filtration at some hotels or water sources (like clean dams), but in places like Bacolod City, especially within older buildings, I would advise against it. Boiling can work, but a lot of foreigners stomachs might not even be up to that. The advise in general is good, and proper disposal of water bottles (recycling) can help the environmental side of things.

    3 years ago

    Nope, tap water is actually safer than bottled water. Plus you can save the environment while spending less.

    3 years ago

    Good advice

    4 years ago
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