• Glenn Wilson
    Is the water in restaurants safe to drink?
    From what I have read and heard, yes, the water in restaurants that are normally visited by ex-pats is safe to drink. And, the ice. If the place seems a little sketchy I stick to bottled water.

    Is the tap water in my home safe to drink?
    If there is no filtration of dissolved solids like arsenic then probably not. If there is no UV filter to kill living organisms then maybe not. The local standard for making home water safe to drink includes sediment filters, a UV light and reverse osmosis (RO). The sediment filters remove larger particles from the water which is nice in itself, but it is also needed for the UV filters to work right. The UV light is to kill living organisms (bacteria and virus). The RO system typically sits under the kitchen sink and has a separate water tap for drinking water. It is designed to remove dissolved solids in the water like arsenic. The UV light needs to be appropriately sized. If it is too small for the amount of water you use it may not do the job.

    Or, buy water to drink.

    For great information on local water quality visit the website of the charitable organization Caminos de Agua. See their site for Test My Water and
    Bacteria Testing (and list of local labs).

    If I wanted to install a sediment filter, UV light, and RO system for my home I would contact BCP Construction. You may know them as "Better Call Patty". A BCP Construction brochure is attached to this post and their email and phone number is in the brochure.
    BCP brochure (846K)
  • Glenn Wilson
    Via email from our friends at Caminos de Agua (slightly edited):

    A reverse osmosis (RO) system is all you really need. It does not need to be used in conjunction with a UV light or any other kind of filter. An RO system will remove dissolved solids including As and F, AND all microbiological contaminants.
    Since contamination levels are constantly changing in San Miguel, we at Caminos de Agua recommend that if you do not have a reverse osmosis treatment system, not to drink the tap water.
    A solution that can provide safe and healthy water, and is the most sustainable solution long-term, is the collection of rainwater and then the simple microbiological treatment of this water (e.g. using a UV light, a Caminos de Agua ceramic filter, by boiling, etc.). We have more info on rainwater harvesting here.

    Their handy water treatment options (pdf file) is attached. Thanks for the clarification (of my post) and the info!
    Water Treatment Options_ENG_v2 (2M)
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