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The gross reason you should steer clear of hotel tap water

The gross reason you should steer clear of hotel tap water

You might want to think twice about filling up your glass in your hotel room.

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – a product testing, inspection and certification organisation with headquarters in Michigan, US, has begun to urge tourists not to drink the tap water in hotel rooms. Two years of little-to-no use could have well and truly led to bugs and germs collecting in the stagnant systems. 

Jérôme Logie, from the Water Division at NSF, claims that water supplies now pose a real risk to travellers that may not have existed previously.

While Logie was quick to remind people of the importance of staying hydrated, he has warned anyone going abroad to assure their water comes from a safe and reliable source. 

“After such an extended period with low to no travel, hotels and their water supplies now pose a significant risk to travellers, something many aren’t aware of,” he explained.

“Water and good hydration are essential, but there is a real risk from potentially lethal bacteria that can thrive in stagnant water, such as in unused hotel pipes.

“Add to that a build-up of germs and varying international standards of filtration, and you can see why travellers must be water-smart to ensure they can enjoy prettier sights than their hotel bathroom.”

To help people avoid illnesses, the NSF has put together a list of top tips for staying safe when drinking water abroad when travelling.

Don’t trust the tap water in your hotel bathroom

No matter how desperate you are for a cool drink of water in the middle of the night, do not resort to drinking from the bathroom tap. Stock up on bottled water from a local supermarket or convenience store. 

Hotel plumbing is a potential breeding ground for harmful microorganisms such as E.Coli, as water in unoccupied hotel rooms can remain stagnant in pipes for days, weeks or even months.

Hot = good

Many hotels heat their water to 55 degrees+ to kill any microorganisms that might be present which is why you will often encounter ‘Warning: hot water!’ signs.

In larger resorts and hotel chains, companies have their own corporate standards for water management, and some even have water treatment facilities on-site to ensure quality, travellers are still encouraged to exercise caution. 

Say no to tap water at restaurants

It’s not just in your hotel room you need to be wary, but also the hotel restaurant.

To avoid encountering any water woes, play it safe and make simple switches such as asking for bottled drinks rather than a jug of water to accompany a meal.

If it’s cloudy, it’s contaminated

Detecting bacteria in clear water is impossible but never, ever drink cloudy water.

If you are travelling to a remote location where bottled water is not available, certified devices and equipment can be used.

E.g: light strobes can kill bacteria; portable filters can be used to remove heavy metals, as well as bacteria; chlorine pills, although not perfect, can be a convenient way to make drinking water safe.

Image: Getty

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