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Can you drink the water?

Can you drink the water?

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Old Mar 13th 2018, 4:44 pm
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Default Can you drink the water?

HI.
We just bought a property in Messines (central Algarve) and although it has mains water the previous owner tells us he never turned it on and used cisterna water for everything except drinking for which he bought bottled water.

Some locals tell us they don't trust the mains water for drinking anyway and we would be safer using bottled.

Does anybody know if the mains is safe to drink round here?
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by aport View Post
HI.
We just bought a property in Messines (central Algarve) and although it has mains water the previous owner tells us he never turned it on and used cisterna water for everything except drinking for which he bought bottled water.

Some locals tell us they don't trust the mains water for drinking anyway and we would be safer using bottled.

Does anybody know if the mains is safe to drink round here?
You're best bet is to get a water testing kit and see for yourself. Anybody can tell you it's good or bad, but until you actually test it nobody will really know. Even if your neighbours drink the water, doesn't mean you have the same quality (old pipes etc.).
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

OK thanks. Good advice.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by aport View Post
HI.
We just bought a property in Messines (central Algarve) and although it has mains water the previous owner tells us he never turned it on and used cisterna water for everything except drinking for which he bought bottled water.

Some locals tell us they don't trust the mains water for drinking anyway and we would be safer using bottled.

Does anybody know if the mains is safe to drink round here?
My unscientific test:
My parents moved back to Porches (central Algarve) 30 years ago, they always have bottle water. Last year I saw a demo for mains water on the beach and thought to try my own demo. I put mains water in a bottle in the fridge and served a glass to my father. He didn't notice the difference! Said it tased fine.
I don't know if its safe but it does taste fine, at least where my parents live.

I still agree with Moses, do your own test.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

At my place there's so much chlorine in it that it just tastes terrible; even my dog doesn't like it. But that surely makes it safe to drink, that's why they put it in.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by liveaboard View Post
At my place there's so much chlorine in it that it just tastes terrible; even my dog doesn't like it. But that surely makes it safe to drink, that's why they put it in.
Water may be safe, but just taste horrible. I gave up drinking tea because it tasted awful, but discovered that it tastes just fine when made with bottled water. The latter is so cheap (it doesn't have to be "a brand") that it's hardly an issue - 5L from Pingo Doce costs less than a bottle of water in the UK!
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Can anyone describe the "horrible" taste? I sure cannot as I have no dead rats in my water system.
The tap water is perfectly safe to drink and you will not suffer from back pains from carrying bottled tap water home from the shops.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?



Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
Can anyone describe the "horrible" taste? I sure cannot as I have no dead rats in my water system.
The tap water is perfectly safe to drink and you will not suffer from back pains from carrying bottled tap water home from the shops.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

We have drunk tap water ever since we came here 6yrs ago.. There were several articles in the papers saying it was perfectly safe to drink,and actually of a high quality. We have never suffered any ill effects,nor has our dog!

I have sometime used bottled water for making my tea,but not noticed any great difference.

Some bottled waters have been found to contain bacteria, so don't just assume they are safe. If it really bothers people... test them all.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Never had a problem in the East Algarve, lived there for 10 years.

We drink bottled water now, as we still haven't tested our bore hole water.

But I use it for cooking and no worries.
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Old Mar 13th 2018, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Wow, there's lots of opinions so far. If I might chip in with my knowledge and experience of wells and well water:

There are four possible areas of concern with well, and indeed utility water, and they may over lap in places: sediment/ solid contamination, dissolved chemicals, biological contamination, and taste. And any of the first three can make water unsafe to drink.

There are several possible ways to improve the water, and make it safe, or at least safer. And I would be most concerned about chemical contamination such as lead, or arsenic as if you have those in your well there really isn't much you can do about them to make your water safe. .... Unless, of course unless the lead is from lead plumbing.

Filters can remove solid particles and a carbon filter can remove some dissolved chemicals, including chlorine, but the filter would need to be replaced periodically - as often as once a month, and as infrequently as once a year, depending on the amount of sediment in the water.

I installed a filter on a utility supply because of the iron particles apparently flaking off the inside of the supply pipes, and changing annually is sufficient to stop occasional sludge entering the house plumbing. I have also installed filters on a couple of wells, to catch inert sand from the well. I change those filters every 3-6 months, and curiously the white filter in one is discoloured with a greenish grey colour, and the other with a pinkish colour.

A filter may remove some biological contamination, but I wouldn't rely on it to do so, but treating a well with chlorine either bleach or swimming pool chlorine will work, I have used both and they are totally safe, but will leave a chlorine taste in the water for a few days. The tests (here in the US) look for coliform bacteria, which are mostly safe, but can be dangerous, and are indicative of contamination with faeces/sewage - a very small amount will show up in the test, and chlorine treatment is the answer. Honestly, if you aren't sure of your well, especially if you have just moved there, it makes sense just to treat the well with chlorine anyway.

If you really want to purify your water, whether from a well or utility supply, you can use a ion exchange water softener, which will remove most chemicals, but will leave the water slightly salty. It is supposedly good for showering and laundry, but they say shouldn't be used for drinking, so leave one tap connected to the supply side of the softener.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 13th 2018 at 10:27 pm.
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Old Mar 14th 2018, 8:29 am
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by aport View Post
HI.
We just bought a property in Messines (central Algarve) and although it has mains water the previous owner tells us he never turned it on and used cisterna water for everything except drinking for which he bought bottled water.

Some locals tell us they don't trust the mains water for drinking anyway and we would be safer using bottled.

Does anybody know if the mains is safe to drink round here?
Been drinking tap water in Portugal on & off since 1967.

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Old Mar 14th 2018, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by barlaventoexpert View Post
Been drinking tap water in Portugal on & off since 1967.

Still Alive!

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Ours get a bit chloriny at times but otherwise no problems drinking it .
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Old Mar 15th 2018, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Lots of publicity in the UK today about micro plastic particles in bottled water???
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Old Mar 15th 2018, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Can you drink the water?

Originally Posted by barlaventoexpert View Post
Been drinking tap water in Portugal on & off since 1967.

Still Alive!

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Likewise. East Algarve mains water is fine and, because it is very soft, we never have a problem of scale in the kettle like we used to have in Hampshire. If you want to read about water quality in the Algarve, do a search on Google.
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