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ProThaiExpat

Local Water Supply, End Of Ice Saga

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I am happy to report that my saga for ice on demand in Chiang Mai has a happy ending.

As some fellow CMers may recall, I have posted before on my quest to have ice on demand in my home in CM. I did find a free standing ice maker which worked fine with potable water added by hand.

However, I still had a 15 cu. ft frig that made me bend over every time I rumaged around in the too small fridge.

My Thai called the water company that assured that the local tap water was safe to drink. Probably, because I wanted to believe it and because my Teka office manager reported of another farang was drinking tap water delivered through his fridge water dispenser, I took the plunge.

Side by side Whirlpool 25 cu. ft. with water and ice in the door arrived with 10 Saraphanich staff to install. They couldn't hook it up, but my applicance repair man did with no trouble. Filter is located in the front of the unit with easy access, unlike many which are inline with the connecting tube in the back of the fridge.

I now have ice and water in the door and what a living dream for me.

I have conducted independent "taste tests" of the water through the filter and have found none who can detect the difference in taste. I have not had any changes in my gastro-intestinal track nor have I had any change in my elimination system suggestive of bacterial involvement.

I have lived in Chiang Mai for three years, always bottled water, but perhaps my digestive system's bacterial make up has adjusted to the Thai model, I don't know. However, for those of you who have contemplated water and ice through the fridge door, I can report success. Likewise feedom from dependence on bottled water.

PM if you want more details and information on saving bundles on your purchase and as to which product's are available and at what discounts.

Also PM me if you want to buy a potable water, stand alone, table top, ice-maker cheap!!

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No thanks,as I have already had cholera when I was younger,about 40 years ago, from local water, and also hepatitis,And it sure was no fun for me,

So the few Baht that we spend for bottled water is an expense that I can afford.

Once when dredging the harbor at Manama Bahrain,we were a steam powered dredge and lost our water makers, and with the water bunkers full they cut off the potable water to the crew to save the distillate for the boilers,and the crew went on shore water that was delivered to the dredge by barge,supposed to be potable,every man on board got a low grade infection with symptoms similar to cholera,even the 50 Filipinos.

Drinking tap water fits into the same category as eating raw pork, fine if you want to,but not for me.

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I don't think taste of the water should have a lot to do with your plans to drink tap water long term, not relative to the safety question anyway. It's great to find out you can occasionally drink the local water without getting a bacterial dose, but if your thinking about drinking long term maybe you should consider arsenic content, ect. (hard to boil that away!) :o

Even in the first world countries there is some debate about what levels of heavy metals are acceptable because of the expense of removing them. "Third world" countries that have gone to the extra expense of having potable water often put up signs to let tourist and taxpayers know.... have you seen any of those signs? If not, they might not want anyone questioning what standards they are using to determine drinking water safety.

If you can sip your drink and not think about any of this stuff, I figure you are probably ok with it, if you think you might be harming yourself every drink you take, its probably worth buying a reverse osmosis filter.

drink long and prosper.

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CM451: Thank you for your kind post.

I grew up in Japan, when the U.S. Military was growing all their produce hydroponicly as the Japanese at the time were using human waste fertilizer. I guess it is a old refrain for me to hear the radio constantly broadcast warnings against drinking the local water and not eating the local produce. without washing it in anticeptic.

Suffice to say, in high school, I contracted amoebic dysentary and tape worms. Was very sensitive to any form of contamination for years afterward, and even slightly old milk would start me off.

No one I know of was more sensitive to the quality of water here upon my arrival three years ago, than me. Likewise I wouldn't touch stall food for the life of me.

Los Angeles has some of the finest municipal drinking water in the world and yet the bottled water industry there is probably has the largest volume of any, anywhere. There were news reports that bottleers were merely hooking up to the muncipal water hydrants and bottling the city water.

We all have various levels of bacteria in our stomachs and as I understand it, it is merely a matter of becoming accustomed to the bactereia mix of your local area. Look at all the farang that eat off the street carts with impunity. They undoubtedly have stomachs that have accoustomed themselves to the bacteria encountered in such venues.

The filter that comes with my new fridge says it is an osmossis filter, whether that is "reverse osmossis" I don't know. Since I have not read of any outbreaks of water borne diseases, among Thais or farang in Chiang Mai, I am somwhat re-assured that the water as it comes out of their treatment plants is potable. The issue is if the delivery system keeps it that way. Likewise, I was relying to some degee on the experiience of the other farang who has a filter refrigerator in Chiang Mai. Certainly, well water subject to ground water seepage is a real danger. Likewise, some of the plumbing in older condominiums would give me pause.

Suffice to say, the risk I am taking is relatively small in my view, but one I am willing to take on balance. I waited a few days before posting, so I could speak with authority of my experience to date. Rest assured, I will post negative results, if they occur.

I am drinking the ice water from my fridge as I write this and it still tastes delicious. Fear is a powerful force that can be discounted by reasonably calculated risk. The absence of a flood of posts from our forum naysayers recounting horror stories of farang dying from the local water is reassuring.

I am also mindful that the food we eat is washed in locally supplied water, in our homes and in the restaurants. Washing food with polluted water, pollutes the food, so perhaps what bacteria that is in the water here has been acclimated to by my body over the past three years such that I am now accoustomed to it, as certainly all my food over the past three years has been washed in local water.

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I remember them saying the tap water in Bkk was safe to drink, too. But, the piping wasn't safe and chemical leaching was still a health hazard. Whenever there is heavy rain, or when they're working on the system, my water goes brown...Clearly, dirt from outside is able to enter the system. What chemicals are in that dirt? :o

I also remember some testing of bottled waters done by the government, and 40% flunked...Of course, they wouldn't release the names of the companies that failed. I also used to live close to a water bottling facility, and I was never really impressed with their washing of the old big bottles before refilling... :D

So, I only drink Pesi Max. Problem solved. :D

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So, I only drink Pesi Max. Problem solved. :D

dosnt that make your tea taste funny :o

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CM451:  Thank you for your kind post.

I grew up in Japan, when the U.S. Military was growing all their produce hydroponicly as the Japanese at the time were using human waste fertilizer.  I guess it is a old refrain for me to hear the radio constantly broadcast warnings against drinking the local water and not eating the local produce. without washing it in anticeptic.

Suffice to say, in high school, I contracted amoebic dysentary and tape worms.  Was very sensitive to any form of contamination for years afterward, and even slightly old milk would start me off.

No one I know of was more sensitive to the quality of water here upon my arrival three years ago, than me.  Likewise I wouldn't touch stall food for the life of me.

Los Angeles has some of the finest municipal drinking water in the world and yet the bottled water industry there is probably has the largest volume of any, anywhere. There were news reports that bottleers were merely hooking up to the muncipal water hydrants and bottling the city water. 

We all have various levels of bacteria in our stomachs and as I understand it, it is merely a matter of becoming accustomed to the bactereia mix of your local area. Look at all the farang that eat off the street carts with impunity. They undoubtedly have stomachs that have accoustomed themselves to the bacteria encountered in such venues.

The filter that comes with my new fridge says it is an osmossis filter, whether that is "reverse osmossis" I don't know.  Since I have not read of any outbreaks of water borne diseases, among Thais or farang in Chiang Mai, I am somwhat re-assured that the water as it comes out of their treatment plants is potable.  The issue is if the delivery system keeps it that way. Likewise, I was relying to some degee on the experiience of the other farang who has a filter refrigerator in Chiang Mai. Certainly, well water subject to ground water seepage is a real danger.  Likewise, some of the plumbing in older condominiums would give me pause.

Suffice to say, the risk I am taking is relatively small in my view, but one I am willing to take on balance.  I waited a few days before posting, so I could speak with authority of my experience to date.  Rest assured, I will post negative results, if they occur.

I am drinking the  ice water from my fridge as I write this and it still tastes delicious. Fear is a powerful force that can be discounted by reasonably calculated risk.  The absence of a flood of posts from our forum naysayers recounting horror stories of farang dying from the local water is reassuring.

I am also mindful that  the food we eat is washed in locally supplied water, in our homes and in the restaurants.  Washing food with polluted water, pollutes the food, so perhaps what bacteria that is in the water here has been acclimated to by my body over the past three years such that I am now accoustomed to it, as certainly all my food over the past three years has been washed in local water.

From http://watershed.net/purified.htm

"Purified or reverse osmosis water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them. Studies validate the benefits of drinking purified water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time). Fasting using purified water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in purified water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.

Purified water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic. The more purified water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Purified" water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved by purified water"

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So, I only drink Pesi Max. Problem solved.  :D

dosnt that make your tea taste funny :o

If I want tea, I'll make a tea cake :D

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quote,,,,The filter that comes with my new fridge says it is an osmossis filter, whether that is "reverse osmossis" I don't know.""

RO is the forcing of a liquid thru an impermiable solid and takes about 800 PSI,,It looks like your filter is just one that water passes thru,osmosis filter looks like a fancy name only for a particle filter.

I had on my cruising sail boat a "POR" RO watermaker,It made 3 gals per hour using sea water and 4 amps of 12V power.But RO wastes about 7 gal. to make 1 gal of potable water.

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Certainly, well water subject to ground water seepage is a real danger. Likewise, some of the plumbing in older condominiums would give me pause.

How about the house/building next door using a pump directly from the water main to increase pressure? You get a bunch doing that the pipes become negative pressure and invite outside water in. That is the real danger here in Bangkok. Maybe Chiang Mai has higher water pressure? Or more responsible neighbors?

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Just installed an excellent domestic RO water system. If anybody is interested in details, PM me.

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For those without funds for a full RO or UV system (both excellent) a single ceramic Supersterasyl type filter is highly effective and filter elements are less than 800 baht. They have been protecting people for 150 years so are well proven.

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So the few Baht that we spend for bottled water is an expense that I can afford.

Not too long ago I caught a ride with the local bottled water supplier. When he indicated that the had to stop by the plant I was more than willing to accompany him just to see the setup.

To my suprise I found many older ladies filling the bottles from a high pressure tap. The water seemed to be nothing more than local city water (pumped in from the Ping River) that was filtered a number of times through various methods. After having thought about it...... what did I expect? Crystal water coming form an artesian well? At least we are not paying more than $2 for a small bottle like some in Europe or North America.

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I live in Kwan Viang Village outside of Chiang Mai, and they warned me the water was a little dirty. Some days its so dirty it looks like your flushing the toilet with mud. So, maybe I have a different situation.

We use one of the many "water net" reverse osmosis machines to fill a couple of 18 liter bottles (cost is 30 B for 36 liters) and that lasts about 1 week, drinking coffee Ice ect. Also have a plastic dispensing machine from that would make it hot or cold if I plugged it in, so not inconvenient at all. If my purified water soaks up some containments from the environment that's ok, at least I did my best to remove herbicides, pesticides, mercury, cadmium, ect. and whatever else the Naga left behind.

Speaking of dirty water and bacteria and fasting... I would like to mention that if you live here and eat and drink.... you most likely have worm parasites. I found them after not eating a couple of days and they started coming out and swimming in the toilet... no sh*t! :o I looked it up, and in Thailand they are almost impossible to avoid... . All the drug stores sell these pills for 30B over the counter "Alda" that contains "albendazole" its a "broad spectrum anthelmintic" for the treatment of single or mixed worms. They are not much of a problem, just living in you and reproducing , unless you go hungry, then they can attack your internal organs and such... depending on exactly what type they are. Anyway, good idea to de-worm every 6 months, and or eat well every day.

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I would like to mention that if you live here and eat and drink.... you most likely have worm parasites. I found them after not eating a couple of days and they started coming out and swimming in the toilet... no sh*t!  I looked it up, and in Thailand they are almost impossible to avoid... . All the drug stores sell these pills for 30B over the counter "Alda" that contains "albendazole" its a "broad spectrum anthelmintic" for the treatment of single or mixed worms. They are not much of a problem, just living in you and reproducing , unless you go hungry, then they can attack your internal organs and such... depending on exactly what type they are. Anyway, good idea to de-worm every 6 months, and or eat well every day.

Yeah, same here. A few times, When things just didn't feel right, a dose of that stuff made everything okay... :o

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