Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
Post Reply
User avatar
Polar Bear
Posts: 1287
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Bear Republic

Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:03 am

In October, I’m going to be heading off to Sri Lanka and after that India and Southeast Asia and I’m interested in finding ways to drink water safely without buying plastic water bottles.

Anyone here have any experience with filter bottles they liked or stories of horrible illness I should be warned about?

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 1046
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:40 am

When we went to Nepal and India we had one of these UV SteriPens. So we just drank tap water from our own bottles the whole way. Amazing things. But a bit expensive if you're just going for a short time.

Image


Now for hiking in NZ I use a similar thing to the LifeStraw filter bottle. Good for 1000 litres on one cartridge. Cheaper than the SteriPen. You can get the filter bottles in two different grades. One stops bacteria and giardia, and the other grade stops even viruses. I don't know how you keep track of 1000 litres! I never have to worry about it going over 1000 liters because the glacial rivers here are filled with tiny particles of rock dust, which clogs the filter pretty fast. But not many glacial rivers in S.E. Asia.


Image
Attachments
YYBTBN7GOXX_zoom.jpg

User avatar
phillyy
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:52 pm

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by phillyy » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:59 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:40 am
When we went to Nepal and India we had one of these UV SteriPens. So we just drank tap water from our own bottles the whole way. Amazing things. But a bit expensive if you're just going for a short time.

Image


Now for hiking in NZ I use a similar thing to the LifeStraw filter bottle. Good for 1000 litres on one cartridge. Cheaper than the SteriPen. You can get the filter bottles in two different grades. One stops bacteria and giardia, and the other grade stops even viruses. I don't know how you keep track of 1000 litres! I never have to worry about it going over 1000 liters because the glacial rivers here are filled with tiny particles of rock dust, which clogs the filter pretty fast. But not many glacial rivers in S.E. Asia.


Image
Sir, there is nothing wrong with technology, note it.

But please do the needful and SHARE technology - not all countries have this technology and it is your duty to give this to others so that they can have prosperity.


The Original Sin of grain storage must be brought to be reconciled with the Original state of Man, as babies, living in a state of Nibanna.
buddhadasa5.png

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Antaradhana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:37 pm

Water from wells can be drunk. If the water was doubtful, then I used an electric heater and a tin mug. If there is no access to electricity, you can boil on the fire.
Attachments
IMG_222927.jpg
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16987
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:54 pm

Antaradhana wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:37 pm
Water from wells can be drunk. If the water was doubtful, then I used an electric heater and a tin mug. If there is no access to electricity, you can boil on the fire.
While it's clearly good do things as sustainably as possible, I would be cautious in some areas, and also not be too complacent about what boiling and filters can do. Boiling (which needs to be more than just bringing the water to the boil!) is effective in killing some bugs, but does nothing at all to a number of poisons (such as various heavy metals).

Get some good, independent, advice about the actual risks and which treatments will be effective against them.

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Antaradhana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:05 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:54 pm
While it's clearly good do things as sustainably as possible, I would be cautious in some areas, and also not be too complacent about what boiling and filters can do. Boiling (which needs to be more than just bringing the water to the boil!) is effective in killing some bugs, but does nothing at all to a number of poisons (such as various heavy metals).
In Sri Lanka, India and Thailand prevails, there is a problem in the bacterial infection, which is eliminated by boiling. The problem of contamination with heavy metals is relevant only for areas with developed industry and emissions from factories. And of course we are not talking about water from a swamp or puddle, but about water from a water supply system or a source, which the locals drink all their life without any treatment. Boiling - this is a reinsurance.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16987
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:14 pm

Antaradhana wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:05 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:54 pm
While it's clearly good do things as sustainably as possible, I would be cautious in some areas, and also not be too complacent about what boiling and filters can do. Boiling (which needs to be more than just bringing the water to the boil!) is effective in killing some bugs, but does nothing at all to a number of poisons (such as various heavy metals).
In Sri Lanka, India and Thailand prevails, there is a problem in the bacterial infection, which is eliminated by boiling. The problem of contamination with heavy metals is relevant only for areas with developed industry and emissions from factories. And of course we are not talking about water from a swamp or puddle, but about water from a water supply system or a source, which the locals drink all their life without any treatment. Boil - this is a reinsurance.
I'm no expert on water quality, but if the water comes from a well there can be various contamination without factories, etc. In some cases it is due to mining, sometimes fertiliser runoff from farming, and in some cases it is completely natural. For example, in parts of Africa there is significant contamination from uranium and other heavy metals in some wells. As you say, city supplies are likely to be OK if boiled.

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
bazzaman
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:49 am

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by bazzaman » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:41 am

Antaradhana wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:37 pm
Water from wells can be drunk. If the water was doubtful, then I used an electric heater and a tin mug. If there is no access to electricity, you can boil on the fire.
I have used this type of electic coil heater; but only to boil water for tea, and the water was already clean. The problem with trying to purify water with such a set-up is that the water boils in the mug very quickly... in a matter of a few minutes. If one then tries to keep the water boiling for a longer time it evaporates, or bubbles over the rim. Since it takes about 10 minutes of hard boiling to purify water of bacteria this does not do the job.
Good to have though for making hot drinks.
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 5133
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:29 am

bazzaman wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:41 am
Antaradhana wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:37 pm
Water from wells can be drunk. If the water was doubtful, then I used an electric heater and a tin mug. If there is no access to electricity, you can boil on the fire.
I have used this type of electic coil heater; but only to boil water for tea, and the water was already clean. The problem with trying to purify water with such a set-up is that the water boils in the mug very quickly... in a matter of a few minutes. If one then tries to keep the water boiling for a longer time it evaporates, or bubbles over the rim. Since it takes about 10 minutes of hard boiling to purify water of bacteria this does not do the job.
Good to have though for making hot drinks.
Ten minutes is much longer than necessary according to the CDC -
Boiling can be used as a pathogen reduction method that should kill all pathogens. Water should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute. At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (greater than 2000 meters), you should boil water for 3 minutes.
That's from https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinki ... tment.html which has lots more good, authoritative advice.

Getting back to the OP -
Water is only part of the problem. Any food (but especially meat) kept at ambient temps (25 - 35 C in most of the region) will breed all sorts of nasties quite quickly. Fruit and veg which have been washed in local water will, of course, carry most of the local bugs too. Food which has been cooked at high temps immediately before you eat it will usually be fine, so you don't need to avoid street food altogether, but try to avoid anything which has been sitting around too long. Fruit which you can (and do) peel for yourself is better than fruit prepared ahead of time by local people.

But the bottom :toilet: line (sorry! :tongue: ) is that you should expect to get some kind of tummy bug while you're there, unless you are really careful or only there very briefly, and you should carry something like Diareze https://www.pocketdrugguide.com/drugs-m ... oride.html so that you can carry on with your trip.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Antaradhana » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:49 am

bazzaman wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:41 am
I have used this type of electic coil heater; but only to boil water for tea, and the water was already clean. The problem with trying to purify water with such a set-up is that the water boils in the mug very quickly... in a matter of a few minutes. If one then tries to keep the water boiling for a longer time it evaporates, or bubbles over the rim. Since it takes about 10 minutes of hard boiling to purify water of bacteria this does not do the job.
It's drinking water, not a blood transfusion apparatus. All bacteria that cause intestinal infections, at boiling will die almost instantly.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
Volo
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Volo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:42 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:03 am
Anyone here have any experience with filter bottles they liked or stories of horrible illness I should be warned about?
Ask locals (e.g. in your hotel) where you can get filtered water. Many guesthouses, temples, etc would have a machine, which filters water, and you can fill your bottle either for free or quite cheap. Usually there are no problems with its quality. If you want to be on a safe side you can additionally boil it. I wouldn't recommend UV lamp, etc because eventually you still don't know how effective it is. If filtered water is not available I would rather choose boiling.

What concerns diseases, there are chances to get diarrhea. Whenever I have it in the Asia I usually go a traditional local doctor (Chinese, ayurveda, tibetan, etc, better to ask locals for recommendations) not to doctor trained in western medicine. Asians had problems with diarrhea for ages and had developed effective methods against it. Western trained doctors in Asia usually would simply give you a lot of antibiotics.

User avatar
bazzaman
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:49 am

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by bazzaman » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:42 am

My first reaction to the heretical replies was "but... but... that can't be right!". So I did a search and it turns out that I've been labouring under a misconception for years.,, (granted it's a common misconception).
I have been boiling tap water for 8/9 minutes and using that for making coffee and tea. So, now that I am aware of the facts, I can save time and money. (b.t.w. the tap water is from a town supply in S.E.Asia).
Atāṇo loko anabhissaro...

polo
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by polo » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:02 am

Antaradhana wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:37 pm
Water from wells can be drunk. If the water was doubtful, then I used an electric heater and a tin mug. If there is no access to electricity, you can boil on the fire.
How long do you boil the water for? I was told boiling only kills the bacteria not the virus. Are there virus in the river water or the well water?
My late brother was in Sarawak (in Borneo) he used the river water to brush his teeth he said and he got "Amoebic dysentery". He said the river water was stagnant not flowing. If it was flowing river water perhaps the chance of getting this intestinal disease would be a lot less.
He said it was pure suffering and he nearly died. He recovered but years later he died of cancer due to smoking.

User avatar
Antaradhana
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:56 pm
Location: Saratov, Russia

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Antaradhana » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:55 pm

polo wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:02 am
How long do you boil the water for? I was told boiling only kills the bacteria not the virus. Are there virus in the river water or the well water?
My late brother was in Sarawak (in Borneo) he used the river water to brush his teeth he said and he got "Amoebic dysentery". He said the river water was stagnant not flowing. If it was flowing river water perhaps the chance of getting this intestinal disease would be a lot less.
He said it was pure suffering and he nearly died. He recovered but years later he died of cancer due to smoking.
Viruses live in the carrier body, or are transmitted through body fluids: pus, sputum, saliva, blood, or through the bites of infected insects. Anything that can cause an infection in drinking water is killed by boiling instantly. You can even boil water from a swamp, but you will hardly like its taste.

In reality, it will not be water from the swamp, but water from the plumbing, which the locals drink without boiling. Poured from the tap - boil, poured into plates to cool, and then poured into a plastic bottle to carry with them.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

User avatar
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
Posts: 691
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:06 pm

Re: Drinking Water in South & Southeast Asia

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:55 am

In Burma, one of my top recommendations would be "plastic purified-water bottles" from some decent brands.
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests