In many countries, people prefer boiled water as drinking water. There are definetly good reasons for this, as the water in many countries around the world does not meet the medical standards of today.
However, there are also many people who boil their water in countries where it is not necessary from a scientific point of view. I did some research on the topic and asked why exactly people are doing it.
In addition, I will answer the question to what extent that makes sense at all.
Why do we boil water before drinking?
People boil water before drinking because they either question the hygienic conditions of the water in their area or are particularly prone to contaminated water.
The main reason to boil your tap water before consuming it is arguably to eliminate bacteria. Many people already have previous illnesses and fear that unboiled water will have long-term consequences for their health. They also want to protect the family and train their children to behave more hygienically in the long term.
In connection with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, many see themselves at risk from their own tap water. The local supermarkets are often not trustworthy enough for them, which is why people take the cleaning of their drinking water into their own hands.
Another plausible reason is the storage of water for e.g. emergencies. People who want to store their water make sure that it is free of germs and bacteria in the event of an emergency.
Is boiling tap water safe to drink?
It is generally accepted that boiled tap water is at least partially safer. Bacteria such as legionella die easily, while there is no remedy for heavy metals in water (e.g. iron, lead, zinc).
Boiling water also kills most bacteria and fungi, but persistent viruses can survive the process. For this reason, an installed filter is recognized as safer, it does not even allow the water to be contaminated. In addition, the valuable nutrients that are lost by the boiling -process in the water are retained.
Storage of boiled water
As long as the boiled water is not exposed to any external stimuli or is securely closed, it is effective. However, that also depends on the container you use, with low-quality containers it can quickly happen that bacteria may infect your water. So using high quality water filters is your best choice.
How can I check if my tap water is safe?
Try it at my tap water. You can enter your ZIP code directly on the page and you will get a result straight away. You can find your ZIP code if you search for example “Zip Code in Belgium”.