How much of the water you drink is boiled?

I was reading a recent headline and thinking about maybe doing that more often: E. coli levels in private water supplies in Scotland deemed ‘unacceptable’ . That’s in a different country, but sh* happens everywhere right? Yeah, well around here they say: “Testing drinking water for all possible pathogens is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. One of the most important steps is to regularly test the water for coliform bacteria”

Is that it then? I don’t know (you never know): “Because coliforms and E. coli are easy and inexpensive to detect, their presence in water samples is used as an indicator of water quality, and more specifically-possible fecal contamination by humans or animals. But while coliforms and E. coli are useful indicators, they have limitations. For example, because some enteric protozoa and viruses are more resistant to conventional disinfection than bacteria, the absence of E. coli does not necessarily indicate the absence of waterborne pathogens”

Not for several HO contributors.

I suppose the relevent thing here is that this report relates to private water supplies, which some 3% of households in Scotland have rather than the main utility supplier, Scottish Water. I suppose that will be homes that have their own private wells and such like. The figure for England & Wales is only 1%. I suppose the slightly higher number in Scotland reflects it’s more rural (and, at times, remote) nature.

As for an answer to your headline question - every time I make a mug of coffee.

Private, oh is that like a crotch and water (instead of scotch)? I was reading from the EPA that for various reasons water should be “boiled for 3 minutes, allowed to cool (if necessary), and used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water”

One way I can get around it for washing dishes is to eat or drink out of the pots I cook with more often (I found various sizes of the casserole type, which are like the soup bowls with handles, and those are good for pouring too).

I live nearby a small connector lake in the Great Lakes watershed. Last week, the local drain commission reported that it released 18 million gallons of “partially-treated” wastewater into the lake on a Tuesday; then another 26 million gallons of “partially-treated” wastewater last Friday. The EPA has always given a nod to these actions, because it prevents sewage from backing up into basements, and highway flooding during a Rain Event.

Oh, did I mention that the Sewage Treatment plants making these releases are about four miles upstream of The main water intake of the Detroit Water Department. Detroit sells its water to more than 100 communities in SE Michigan.

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Only when I drink tea which is not very often. And even then many times I am too impatient for the water to come to a full boil.

Zero. We have a stainless steel saucer which my wife used to boil water in. The water that comes out tastes bad to me and the kids.

Oh, wow not only is it partially tested…

I guess boiling a large amount in a stock pot once a day wouldn’t take too long, and would help me conserve water (if that’s all it took, besides cooking and bathing). I’ve already quit peeing in the toilet, and use my urine along with greywater to fertilize the great outdoors. Talk about ‘going’ green.

Whoa whoa whoa. Where do you live again? I hope you mean you’re fertilizing your own garden with your pee. Like human shit it’s a useful fertilizer but has to be applied in a controlled way.

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If water as in straight drinking water, then none. I don’t boil any water. However, I do drink tea, so there I do boil the water for my tea.

New Yorker here.

Never boil my water. Nor do I buy bottled, unless I’m out on a long walk my water has run out, and I’m desperate.


What she said. And I cold-brew my coffee.

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Er, no.

Private as in from a well rather than from a municipal water source. Because, as Harters clearly explained, not everyone lives where it is convenient, affordable, or even possible to lay municipal pipes.

And eating food fertilized with the excreta of carnivores, whether you or otherwise, is a very. Bad. Idea, quite likely far more risky than any of the 3% you reference in Scotland.

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I moved to Mt Shasta because of the water. I had my well tested . Some of the best water on earth.

Well there are all kinds of books on how urine has been a good plant food since ancient times (into the space age, with astronauts doing it too). I’m not even a carnivore (or omnivore); if this makes cows holy as a source of fertilizer, then same here. The other quotes I referenced explain why drinking public water could be risky, independently of whether that incident had to do with private water. It just got me thinking, and then I looked that up. I started cooking all my spices too after reading numerous things about food safety Basically I don’t eat raw food, so I was considering if tap water is raw then. I think so. Even if I had a test kit, I wouldn’t think this meant it was good from then on, any more than if I had one head of lettuce tested before I decided to eat salads all the time. The fact is, people get sick and die from contaminated lettuce and other food (or water) poisoning on a regular basis, and I’d like to learn from their mistakes (let the buyer beware I mean). There are more warnings on food these days because of it, so it isn’t just me. Mostly these things cause digestive problems, and I’m trying to eliminate those at least.

One has a much higher chance dying on other things though, like driving a car, or killed by another person.

Yeah well I’m trying to eat more than I drive or turn my back around other people, so I’m more concerned about their cutting of corners catching up with me like a jack in the box. I think statistics are relative anyway, and being involved in more risky activities only increases the chances of something biting you in the butt, no matter what.

Life is fatal.

People have been eating food and drinking water since their very appearance on this spinning rock. You can spend your time here obsessing about that which has always existed, or you can enjoy what you have.

The same technology that you are quite afraid of in your water is the same technology that gave you the glass of water in the first place…I’m assuming you have indoor plumbing rather than having to draw a bucket from a nearby creek (which likely carries things like giardia).


I can enjoy boiling water too. Something to do… hey, it’s better than distilling pee (don’t try that at home, if you ask me).

I don’t know if other people managed to discover it, but I only saw the link in your second post when I quoted that post to reply to it, since it got attached only to the ellipsis at the end the text you quoted.

You do understand that all those “warning templates” that show up as results of your search are intended for use only in “exceptional” circumstances when there’s an identifiable risk of water supply contamination, don’t you?

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Yeah, the point there was that it can come up for various reasons, and if they have to print out flyers to notify people, then it isn’t necessarily going to be an immediate notification, before a bunch of water that should have been boiled was consumed raw, so to speak. Knowing is half the battle, as they say. Sometimes they don’t know until someone like you gets sick though, that’s the problem. It doesn’t happen all the time, but people shouldn’t be surprised when it does. There’s really nothing to prevent it, or the law wouldn’t call for notifying those perpetually unsuspecting people when it did. Anyway, I’m not trying to harp on it with a bunch of links, just adding those ellipses for the text I quoted.