When traveling through the world, one of the biggest health risks you will face is when drinking water. Sometimes, the regions you might travel to may not have healthy water, or maybe your body might not be ready to tolerate the local water. Keeping mind such factors, we list out four things that every traveler needs to know about drinking water.
An important thing you need to understand is that the society of a particular region will have developed a resistance to the pathogens in the water of that specific region. As such, even if they drink as much water as they want to, the pathogens will never cause them any harm since their bodies are adapted to it. In contrast, if you drink the local water consisting of the pathogens, then they will inevitably make you sick since you are a newcomer and are not used to them. So, the best thing you can do to acclimatize yourself with the local water is by drinking it in few quantities at a time. Follow this for a week and you should be able to drink water like the locals pretty soon.
If you are staying in a guest house or a rental apartment, make sure that the drinking water of the building has been tested for Legionella. The Legionella is a common type of bacteria that can be present in untreated water. If you ingest water infected with them, then the bacteria can cause severe headaches, muscle pains, vomiting, and even diarrhea. This obviously will disturb your travel plans. Companies like AquaCert provide legionella testing for landlords at cheap rates, and responsible landlords usually do test the drinking water for Legionella. Just make sure that you ask them about this so you can be sure that the water is free from this bacterium.
Now, if your body fails to acclimatize yourself with the local water, then the next best thing you can do is to only drink bottled water. If any of the well-known brands are not available, then ask the locals as to which brand of bottled water is the best and only use that specific brand. Plus, when buying bottled water, make sure that the seal of the bottle is tight and has not been tampered with.
An easy way to kill all the bacteria and germs in the water is to boil them for a few minutes. Once done, you can drink the water without any fear of the microbes. However, many people have a misconception that cold water is also free from such germs. This is not true. If the water has been cooled down directly after procuring it from tap water, then the germs in them will not be dead. And if you drink such cold water, then you will only be taking such microbes into your body. As such, if you wish to drink cold water, make sure that the water has been first boiled and then cooled.