When I was growing up in Taiwan, boiling water was an activity 365 days of the year. Every night, we would boil lots of water and fill glass bottles for cooling. By the next morning, the water would be ready either to refrigerate for drinking or left at room temperature for cooking. It would get reboiled for brewing tea or coffee as well as poured into ice trays to make ice cubes.
When I lived in Canada, I appreciated the cold water that came out of the faucets. No boiling was required and the running water tasted better than any bottled water I had ever had. Ironically, many indigenous populations—First Nations in Canada—now must boil water in order to decontaminate it for drinking, the same way residents of Flint, Michigan have had to for years now. Even in industrialized countries, contamination and water scarcity are more prevalent than we think. In areas of the arid Southwest in the United States, for example, populations are facing a threat to their drinking and irrigation water supply as rivers dry up..1
People often take their drinking water for granted, but when you’re traveling, the tap water may not be safe to drink. With diarrhea, giardia, hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera among the illnesses that can be transmitted with bad water, it pays to know which parts of the world guarantee clean, safe tap water, and where you should be sourcing bottled water instead.
The water you need to be most concerned about is water that might contain microorganisms that will make you sick, and in less developed countries, you are more apt to run into water that contains a variety of microorganisms you want to avoid. To make untreated or badly treated water safe, boil for 60 seconds. Boiling in rolling water for one minute should kill 100% of pathogens. At high altitudes of 2,000 meters or 6, 562 feet, boil for three minutes.2
If the water is unsafe to drink, don’t brush your teeth with water from the tap. Check that natural bodies of water are safe before you swim, keep your mouth closed in the shower and don’t accept ice in your drinks. Remember that with canned beverages, such as soda and beer, the outside of the can may have been contaminated too if it was chilled in ice..3 Also, if you can’t drink the water, don’t eat the salad either. Only eat food which has been cooked or that has a peel, which you can remove. Salads are generally washed with local water when being prepared, so always ask if it has been purified if you’re unsure.4
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidelines for removal of some or all of the bacteria that may be present in drinking water. Boiling is ranked with a high effectiveness as is using a combination of filtration and disinfection. The recommendation is to use a 0.3 micron filter with NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction/removal.”5
If you decide to purchase bottled water wherever you go, make sure it is sealed. In impoverished nations, bottles are often refilled with tap water, which is unsafe for drinking. Please remember to dispose of your plastic water bottles responsibly. Non-biodegradable items cause a huge problem throughout the world.
Nikken Water Packs help you access PiMag® water at home and on-the-go. Traveling with the PiMag® Sport Bottle with patent-pending nano-filtration technology and alkalization media is easy and convenient. It exceeds reduction standards for cyst, lead, bacteria and much more. Fill it with potable water wherever you are, and know that you are contributing to the well-being of the local ecology as you practice Active Wellness everywhere you go.