Drinking water in Bangladesh

Drinking water in Bangladesh

Drinking water here means always avoiding local tap water. This includes avoiding food that may have been rinsed in contaminated water, such as salads and raw fruits. For those who are cautious, consider using boiled or bottled water for alternate sources of exposure, like the water you use to brush your teeth or water used to wash glasses. Also, make sure that the ice in your drinks is filtered (has a hole through it) and in case of doubt, avoid ice.

Store-bought mineral water is available in any of the convenience stores in the cities. Make sure that the bottles are in sealed, tamper-proof containers. Mineral water bottles from Trusted brands include “Mum” and “Fresh”.

Properly boiling tap water is considered the most effective method for water purification. In order to do so, maintain a rolling boil for at least one minute and leave the water on the stove for 6-8 minutes after the water has been boiled.

Another method of water purification is commercially available iodine or chlorine tablets which kill bacteria and viruses, but are ineffective against some protozoa (like cryptosporidium). Some water purification tablets available outside Bangladesh are Globaline, Potable-Aqua, or Coghlan’, and can be found in pharmacies and sporting goods stores. In Bangladesh,a a popular brand of water purification is called Halotab and is available in pharmacies in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Drinking water in villages from the tube well is safe, as long as tube wells contaminated with arsenic is avoided.  

What to do if you do get sick:
Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, aches and/or chills are some symptoms of water-borne illness. These symptoms can be relatively severe, but should not persist for more than 48 hours, if so seek medical attention. Staying hydrated with sports drinks, boiled or bottled water, or other safe fluids (steer clear of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, both of which can make dehydration worse) is essential. Oral rehydration salts and anti-diarrheal medications may also be helpful.