About Drinking Water Quality in Foreign Countries

As the holidays approach, summer travel dreams begin to excite most of us. Sure, there’s still time left until summer begins, but it’s never too early to plan, is it?

There are a few aspects of traveling you can never plan ahead. You need to figure them out as you go. One of them is the availability of clean drinking water.

Tap water in some countries can make you sick rather quickly. Before you know, you are bound to the bed with the worst stomach bug of your life. As you look around, the locals don’t seem to be having an issue with it.

Your adventures and trips have to wait as you struggle to move to the toilet and back to bed. Let’s see how you can avoid such scenarios so you can enjoy your travel to the maximum and make fond memories.

When is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

The quality of drinking water significantly varies from country to country. Drinking unsafe water is, in fact, the leading cause of sickness for foreign travelers.

As many as 10 million travelers are affected by diarrhea each year. And we all know diarrhea is caused by the consumption of contaminated or untreated water.

Bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella, and cholera are major culprits that lead to travelers clutching their stomachs in agony. Few even need to be hospitalized in severe cases.

This leads us to our next question: How can you protect yourself from water-borne diseases while you explore the wonders of the world?

How to Prevent Falling Sick While Travelling

While traveling in countries that have unsafe water, it is essential to take some preventative measures.

Carry Your Own Bottled Water

It is the simplest and most effective solution to protect yourself from several health issues. However, bottled water by uncertified companies might be tap water filled in fancy packaging.

Consumers fall prey to the marketing strategy and conceive all bottled waters to be safe. Look for a certified brand and carry it wherever you go.

If you are traveling slow, it may be wise to buy giant gallons to save on cost. These are environmentally friendly and save you tons of money – a win-win situation.

Avoid Very Hot Places

While this may not always be possible, limiting yourself from places at odd hours in extreme temperatures is an excellent way to avoid drinking unsafe water.

As you sweat, your throat and mouth begin to feel parched. You may be tempted to drink any form of water you can lay your hands on if you feel dehydrated.

It’s a downward hill from that point.

Boil Your Water

Most hotels and Airbnbs give you the option of boiling your water. It may seem like a time-consuming method, but it ensures that you are not consuming dangerous bacteria and viruses.

You can also consider investing in an electrolytic water purifying device. The compact and easy-to-use gadgets can quickly remove all pathogens and impurities from your water.

Even an electric kettle works fine to boil small quantities. Some people prefer to use water purification tablets, though.

Know Additional Risks

If you know that the water in front of you is unsafe to drink, avoid brushing your teeth with it as well. Brushing your teeth with contaminated water is as dangerous as drinking it. You want to take precaution while showering as well, so you don’t end up swallowing any of it.

Moreover, don’t take ice cubes in your fizzy drinks. Try to drink your juices or beer directly from the bottle or cans to avoid using glasses washed with dirty water.

Another essential thing to remember is to eat only thoroughly cooked food. Avoid raw salads or fruits with peels that you can’t remove.

Which Country Has the Safest Drinking Water?

The purity of tap water in any country is determined by two factors – the water source and the method of filtration.

Tap water is safe to drink in most developed countries, including the USA, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia.

Let’s see which one snagged the first spot.


Switzerland has consistently held onto its position as a country with the best tap water globally.
Not only does the country have an abundant supply of natural springs and glaciers, but they also have strict water treatment standards that ensure unmatched quality.

Undoubtedly, the Alps’ home has an ideal geographical location from which it has intelligently benefited.

Canada and Great Britain

Next in line are Canada and the United Kingdom. Clearly, both countries have a strategic location with enough lakes and freshwater sources.

Similarly, they use top-of-the-line filtration systems and safety standards that regulate the quality of their water.

Abundant rainfall is also a significant contributor to these countries having a plentiful clean water supply.

Which Countries Have the Worst Drinking Water?

Underdeveloped countries are still figuring out the best way to provide fresh and pure drinking water to their citizens. Even at few popular tourist destinations, you don’t have the luxury to drink tap water.

While locals seem to get immune to the water conditions, foreigners can quickly contract Hepatitis A, Cholera, Typhoid, or Diarrhea.

Let’s come up to speed with those destinations where you should avoid putting a glass under the tap.


Brazilians are suffering from nonexistent water safety standards. There is a significant gap in the quality of water in rural and urban areas.

If you happen to visit the land of the Amazon rainforest, keep bottled water handy.


China may be on the way to become the world’s leading economy, yet the powerhouse is still far from providing clean tap water.

Up to 85% of the river water in China has been deemed unfit for consumption leaving scarce resources behind. Surprisingly, the water in China is as dangerous as the environment you breathe in.


Mexico is dealing with an insufficient water supply. The scarcity of water has led to almost three-quarters of Mexicans consuming bottled water.


The water resources in Pakistan are scarce, severely populated, and dreadfully managed. It is contaminated by industrial runoffs, bacteria, and poor sanitation.

Even though there are more glaciers in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world, most areas are affected by drought due to scanty rainfall. Coupled with the inefficient water supply system, more than 40 percent of the population does not have access to clean water.


Another major honeymoon destination, Maldives, is still struggling to provide clean tap water to its population. Water sanitation is abysmal, and most tap water is just treated rainwater.

Final Words

Many countries in the world are suffering from unsanitary tap water, which is the leading cause for many illnesses. Nevertheless, the use of bottled water cuts down your risk of exposure considerably.

Some cities in the US are suffering from hard or unsanitized water as well. Fortunately, you have the option to install whole house water filters and softeners to improve your water quality. For honest product reviews and buyer guides relating to water treatment, refer to https://watermasterz.com/.

About the Author: Sam

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