Can You Drink Boiled Tap Water in Dubai?

Dubai, a rapidly developing city renowned for its opulent hotels, malls, and beaches, is often questioned about the safety of consuming boiled tap water.

This article will explore Dubai’s sources of drinking water, the pros and cons associated with boiling it for consumption, and the preventive measures you should take before doing so.

Lastly, we’ll conclude our findings regarding this topic.

Overview of The Water Situation in Dubai

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is responsible for managing the water supply of Dubai.

The city has seven water treatment plants producing up to 470 million gallons of water daily, with 98% from desalination facilities and 2% from underground aquifers.

Several factors can affect the quality and safety of tap water in Dubai, such as:

1. Water Source:

Most of the water supply in Dubai is sourced from desalination plants.

While this method produces clean drinking water, it can also add contaminants like chlorine.

2. Aging Infrastructure

Dubai has had a water distribution infrastructure for many years, but it requires upgrading.

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The city’s pipes are made of different materials, such as steel, cast iron, and PVC, which can impact tap water’s quality and safety.

3. High Mineral Content

The desalination process used to produce Dubai’s tap water results in high mineral content, including calcium and magnesium.

Although these minerals are not hazardous to health, they can alter the taste and odor of the Water.

4. Temperature

Dubai’s sweltering temperature and high humidity can foster the proliferation of bacteria and other microorganisms in its water system, potentially compromising the safety of drinking water.

5. Chemical Contamination

The water supply can be contaminated with chemical pollutants like lead and other heavy metals due to the deterioration of old Infrastructure or activities from factories.

6. Microbial Contamination

Microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can get into our water supply from various sources, including wastewater treatment facilities, animal excrement, and human sewage.

7. Taste and Odor

Dubai’s tap water meets the standards the World Health Organization (WHO) sets for drinking water quality. However, some residents have noticed a difference in taste and smell.

This can be attributed to its high mineral content and other factors influencing water quality.

Drinking Boiled Tap Water in Dubai

In Dubai, boiling tap water is one of the methods used to make it safe for drinking.

Although this process can kill most bacteria and viruses, it may not eliminate all contaminants.

Despite this limitation, boiling Water still helps reduce the risk of contracting a water-borne illness, particularly among those with weak immune systems.

The safety of consuming boiled tap water in Dubai depends on factors such as its source, pipe condition, and quality of treatment.

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Information that DEWA reports meets WHO standards for drinkable quality despite some complaints regarding taste or smell from residents.

When comparing boiled tap water and bottled Water, it is essential to consider their benefits and risks.

Boiled tap water can be a safer option for those who cannot afford or access bottled Water in Dubai.

Although the stricter testing and quality control of bottled water compared to tap Water, its production and distribution have negative impacts on our environment.

There are numerous advantages to boiling tap water, such as removing toxins and improving its taste, preventing diseases like cholera and typhoid fever, providing higher mineral content for better hydration than store-bought bottled Water, and decreasing plastic waste.

These are only a few of the benefits that come with drinking boiled tap water.

1. Reducing the Risk of Water-Borne Illnesses

Heating water to a temperature of 100°C can eliminate most bacteria and viruses that may be present in tap water.

2. Improving the Taste and Odor of Water

Heating water to the boiling point can reduce some contaminants that cause tap water to have an unpleasant taste and smell.

3. Cost-Effective

Boiling tap water is an economical way to make it safe for drinking, especially for those with limited resources.

Potential Risks of Drinking Boiled Tap Water

However, there are some potential risks associated with consuming boiled tap water, including:

1. Exposure to Heavy Metals

Heating water can cause the concentration of heavy metals to rise, potentially leading to adverse effects on human health.

2. Contamination by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Heating water can raise Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, in it; these chemicals may be detrimental to human health.

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3. Incomplete Removal of Contaminants

Water boiled may not effectively eliminate specific contaminants, such as pesticides and herbicides, which have a lower boiling point than Water.

Precautions to Take While Drinking Tap Water in Dubai

When consuming boiled tap water in Dubai, it is essential to take specific measures to guarantee its quality and safety.

Here are some tips for drinking tap water in the city:

1. Boil Water for at Least Five Minutes

Heating tap water to a rolling boil for at least five minutes can eliminate most bacteria and viruses that could be present.

2. Use a Water Filter

A water filter can reduce the amount of chlorine, lead, and other pollutants in tap water.

3. Store Water in a Clean Container

Keeping boiled tap water in a sanitized vessel will help to avoid contamination by bacteria and other microorganisms.

4. Avoid Using Hot Tap Water for Cooking or Drinking

The pipes in our homes can release lead and other metals into hot tap water, harming one’s health.

In conclusion, drinking boiled tap water in Dubai can be a safe option if certain precautions are taken.

The tap water quality meets World Health Organization (WHO) standards, but some have reported issues with its taste and smell.

Boiling this type of Water for at least five minutes has several benefits, such as reducing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria and improving its flavor and odor.

However, it is essential to note that boiling may lead to increased levels of heavy metals or incomplete removal of contaminants from the source material.

References:

  1. Drinking Tap Water in Dubai | Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water (dayoutdubai.ae) https://www.dayoutdubai.ae/blog/city-sightseeing/drinking-tap-water-in-dubai/
  2. Is it safe to drink tap water in the UAE? (thenationalnews.com) https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/wellbeing/is-it-safe-to-drink-tap-water-in-the-uae-1.955553

 

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