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Is Singapore Tap Water Safe to Drink?
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- March 23, 2023
Tap water is an essential resource that many of us take for granted. In Singapore, tap water is considered to be safe to drink by the government, but many people are still sceptical about its safety. If you’ve ever wondered if it’s safe to consume the water straight from the tap in Singapore, this piece will shed some light on the topic.
The Singapore government has a rigorous system in place to ensure tap water is safe to consume. The Public Utilities Board (PUB) oversees the entire water supply chain in Singapore, from the collection and treatment of water to the distribution and quality control of tap water. Each year, the PUB in Singapore performs more than 400,000 water purity tests, and the results regularly place Singapore’s water supply in the top ten worldwide.
One of the reasons why Singapore’s tap water is considered safe to drink is due to the advanced water treatment processes used by the PUB. Singapore has four national taps – local catchment water, imported water, NEWater, and desalinated water. Each source undergoes a different treatment process before being distributed to households and businesses.
For example, local catchment water undergoes a process called “conventional treatment”, where it is treated with chemicals like chlorine and alum to remove impurities and then filtered through sand and activated carbon. NEWater is treated with advanced membrane technology that filters out impurities and disinfects the water with ultraviolet light, while desalinated water goes through a reverse osmosis process that removes salts and other contaminants.
Despite the comprehensive measures taken to ensure the safety of Singapore’s tap water, some people still have concerns about drinking it. One of the main concerns is the presence of microplastics in tap water. Microplastics are miniscule particles of plastic that can enter water sources through a variety of ways, including run-off from landfills and wastewater treatment plants. These particles are so tiny that they can easily pass through filtration systems and end up in tap water.
To address this concern, the PUB conducted a study in 2019 to measure the presence of microplastics in tap water. The study found that the levels of microplastics in Singapore’s tap water were among the lowest in the world and were well below the World Health Organization’s recommended limit.
Another concern some people have about tap water is its taste. While tap water in Singapore is safe to drink, some people may prefer the taste of bottled water. However, it’s worth noting that bottled water can be more expensive and generate more plastic waste than tap water.
In conclusion, tap water in Singapore is considered safe to drink due to the comprehensive measures taken by the government to ensure its quality. The advanced treatment processes used by the PUB have been effective in removing impurities and contaminants, and the levels of microplastics in tap water are among the lowest in the world. While some people may prefer the taste of bottled water, tap water is a more affordable and sustainable option.
How Common Is It for People to Drink Tap Water Around the World?
Given the wide variation in quality of drinking water from country to country and even region to region within a country, a precise figure is challenging to pinpoint. In some places, such as parts of Europe and North America, tap water is considered safe and clean to drink, and many people rely on it as their primary source of drinking water. However, in other parts of the world like certain areas in Asia and Africa, tap water might not be safe to drink due to contamination or inadequate treatment.
Despite these variations, drinking tap water is generally becoming more common as people become more environmentally conscious and look for ways to reduce their plastic waste. In some countries, for example the United Kingdom, drinking tap water is encouraged as a more sustainable option than buying bottled water. Additionally, as more people become aware of the potential health benefits of staying hydrated, they may be more likely to drink tap water as a convenient and accessible option.
Overall, while tap water may not be safe to drink in all parts of the world, it is becoming an increasingly popular option in many areas as people seek out more sustainable and affordable ways to stay hydrated.
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