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  #51  
Old 06-23-2019, 03:46 PM
dtilque is online now
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Are minerals added to the desalinated seawater, or is it basically just pure distilled water? Because I've heard that distilled water tastes sort of "flat", since we're used to water with minerals in it.
Desalinated usually means "forced through filters that remove most of the salt" rather than "distilled". It's cheaper to do that than distilling. I believe there are places that distill seawater, but most just filter.
  #52  
Old 06-23-2019, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HeiLo View Post
To add to that, New York tap water can be quite the Russian roulette:
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/n...f-neglect.html

Or maybe pigeon roulette is the better term 🤔?
To be fair to New York City, that story doesn't address the quality of New York City drinking water.

It's about what happens to that (quite good, actually) water when it is stored in old, improperly maintained tanks.

If the building in which you are drinking water from the tap doesn't have a rooftop tank, this isn't something you have to worry about. Just look up -- you'll see the tank. They're quite large.
  #53  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
In other words, what comes in a bottle isn't necessarily more pure than what comes out of the tap, especially when both of them are subject to the same rigorous controls.
Just this month I saw a press report of some authority complaining that bottled water was /not/ subject to the same rigorous controls, and some didn't meet tap water standards. I can not remember at all which authority, which country, which continent I saw reported.
  #54  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
I've been told that London some places have signs warning people not drink the tap water, not because the tap water is unsafe, but because the business can't guarantee that it meets EU standards for drinking water. I think that in some places tap water still not the same as drinking water, and in some of those places, it will make you sick.
You'll certainly find warnings in London about particular supplies not being drinking water, but I suspect you're arguably misinterpreting why. In my experience, taps labelled as such are ones in toilets, often in work places. Its a Health and Safety thing. The water's probably fine, but the surrounding environment? There will be taps elsewhere that you can more safely drink from, so the warnings are just there to deter anyone from using these particular ones.

As far as I can see, there's just the one fundamental water supply to UK domestic premises and businesses. Which is drinkable.

Last edited by bonzer; 06-23-2019 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Punctuation
  #55  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Certainly in the 90's tap water wasn't safe to drink in all of 'Europe'. I was warned off by the locals, but it was too late. I expect that is still the case in many places: I've been told that London some places have signs warning people not drink the tap water, not because the tap water is unsafe, but because the business can't guarantee that it meets EU standards for drinking water. I think that in some places tap water still not the same as drinking water, and in some of those places, it will make you sick.

Paris is parhaps the worlds biggest tourist city. I thik the tap water is mostly safe to drink there. or else lots of Americans would still be getting sick. I haven't heard that is the case.
I drank tap water in France and Germany and England in the 80s, but avoided it in Italy, which didn't then have safe water (I was told.) I also drank a lot of Parisian tap water a couple of years ago. It's fine.

Oddly, the only place I ever got tourist tummy was Tokyo. But I wasn't very sick, I just had to visit restrooms frequently for a couple of days. When I returned to Japan a couple of years ago I drank lots of tap water and had no problems. I suppose my system remembered how to cope with it.
  #56  
Old 06-24-2019, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Desalinated usually means "forced through filters that remove most of the salt" rather than "distilled". It's cheaper to do that than distilling. I believe there are places that distill seawater, but most just filter.
The filters aren't just physical filters, like you'd use to sieve out sand: they're ion-exchange cartridges. They specifically remove ions, so salts; mainly NaCl simply because that's what the water has most of, but if you feed them salt with a ton of NaCO3 instead they'll remove your NaCO3.
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  #57  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:04 AM
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The filters aren't just physical filters, like you'd use to sieve out sand: they're ion-exchange cartridges. They specifically remove ions, so salts; mainly NaCl simply because that's what the water has most of, but if you feed them salt with a ton of NaCO3 instead they'll remove your NaCO3.
While true it's not operating by size exclusion, RO does not use IE cartridges. It's solvent (water) diffusion process
  #58  
Old 06-24-2019, 08:14 AM
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When I was a child (70s), I was under strict instructions from my parents not to drink the tap water when on holiday in France and Spain, for fear of stomach upsets.

Whether they were being over cautious at the time, I couldn't say (I also was banned from stroking any cats or dogs, for fear of contacting rabies), but the tap water throughout Europe is totally fine to drink. High standards, we can thank the EU for that.
I hope when I'm in my 70's I'll still think of myself as a child too. I doubt it, but i'm inspired.
  #59  
Old 06-24-2019, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Galwegian View Post
Not sure about France, and maybe Nava can confirm this, but at least in the Canary Islands we have been advised not to drink tap water.

The reason is not because of bacterial contaminants, but rather that it is desalinated seawater. While safe to drink, it would taste off to our palates as there is still some residual salt present. Local residents certainly drink it as they are used to the taste.
It depends on the town and even on the district, for instance, in Madrid the quarters served by the Canal de Isabel II automatically were more sought after when it was built in the 19th Century: the mothers soon realized that their children had fewer and less severe diarrhoea so they tended to move there. Even today, madrileños are aware of where their water comes from, as the Canal de Isabel II feeds from different rivers for the different quarters and not all the water has the same quality and taste. The quarters with better water are in general more expensive.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has perfectly safe water, but it tastes bitter, I think because of dissolved potassium. So the catalans have grown fond of their Vichy Catalán, sparkring water which also tastes slightly bitter but comes in bottles.
In Berlin the water is quite hard, but of excellent quality. Germans like sparkling water, thus in the last 30 years or so the machines that infuse CO2 in water have become popular: you take plain tap water, a CO2 cartridge, this thingy, and hey presto! you have sparkling water without having to schlepp it up the stairs and very ecologocal too, as you don't need the plastic bottles (never mind the metal CO2 cartridges - that does not count).
If you rent a country house in France (or elsewhere) you should let the tap and the shower run for some time, otherwise you risk leggionaries' disease, amoebas or worse: you simply don't know how long the water has been stagnant in the pipes. The same happens in Strasburg, in France, when the European Parliament convenes for a week once a month. The building being empty and unused for three weeks a month, the water in the toilets and the kitchen has to run for a while until the yuck from the plumbing is washed out and fresh water sets in. The coffee on mondays is hideous, on thuesday you can drink it again.
But in general water quality in Europe is safe. Only sometimes it tastes funny, but it is not dangerous.
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  #60  
Old 06-24-2019, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bonzer View Post
You'll certainly find warnings in London about particular supplies not being drinking water, but I suspect you're arguably misinterpreting why.

As far as I can see, there's just the one fundamental water supply to UK domestic premises and businesses. Which is drinkable.
Yes, there is only one water supply, but... In the UK water is only considered drinkable if it comes from the rising main- ie the pipe that comes into the building, so the water has not been through a storage tank which might have heaven knows what in it.

In my Victorian house the kitchen tap comes from the rising main, and so does the tap in the bathroom basin. (a later addition- originally there was no bathroom and an outside toilet)

In public toilets, workplaces etc the water will have been through a tank and is so labelled 'not for drinking'. Nonetheless I have drunk such water in extremis and never had a problem.
Not sure when that started but it was certainly a thing in 1970.

Likewise I have drunk tap water all over Europe, USA, Canada etc and no issues.

But a mouthful of salad eaten by mistake in Egypt had me ill within an hour. The dirtiest place I've ever been; frankly disgusting.

Last edited by Bert Nobbins; 06-24-2019 at 01:50 PM.
  #61  
Old 06-24-2019, 02:57 PM
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When you visit American city,
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Just two things of which you must beware,
Don't drink the water and don't breath the air!

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  #62  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:15 AM
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While the mains water may well be fine, I've been told it's good policy not to drink the tap water in hotels, because rather than coming fresh from the mains it probably comes from a tank in the roof which may have all kinds of crap in it. Just like at home I don't drink the water from the upstairs bathroom tap, as that comes from the tank in the loft.


Edit... I see this has been addressed a couple of posts up - I didn't see page 2!

Last edited by Colophon; 06-25-2019 at 10:15 AM.
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