A reliable and sustainable supply of safe drinking water is fundamental to the protection public health as well as economic development. However, access to safe drinking water remains a challenge in many countries.
Boiling water is most effective at killing microorganisms in the water. Boiling can prevent you from getting a case of food poisoning or diarrhea if the water is contaminated by pathogens. However, boiling is not good at removing chemical contaminants such as heavy metals, organic compounds or even chlorine if they are present in the water.
The tap water in Singapore has its quality benchmarked against World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water guidelines. Its water quality meets and sometimes even surpasses the requirements given by WHO.
The tap water in Singapore is chlorinated to reduce the growth of micro-organisms/pathogens. However, the chlorine concentration is still within the limits given under the WHO guidelines. Our tap water is also intentionally fluoridated (addition of fluoride) to fight against tooth decay.
From this perspective, tap water in Singapore can be consumed directly. For those who are concerned about the chlorine, fluoride and the minute quantities of minerals and heavy metals in the water, specialised water filters can be used.
Dr Lin Kai Wei
MBChB (UK), MSc (Aust), GDFM (Sg)
Complete Healthcare International Pte Ltd