#629 Don’t Waste Your Money on Bottled Drinking Water while Visiting Amsterdam!

Having awarded and acknowledged as a city with the best drinking water in the country and one of the best in the world, Amsterdam has spoiled its residents with the cleanest and safest drinking water for many years. People can drink it directly from the tap at houses or public places.

You are probably wondering, so, what makes the drinking water in Amsterdam (and also around Netherlands in general) so different? Isn’t it common practice in other big cities around the world, such as New York, London, and Sydney? The answer is because it is the cleanest and safest drinking water WITHOUT CHLORINE, a water disinfectant that used to kill microbiological pathogens inside the water. For many years, this chemical substance has been used in many countries for treating drinking water.

Regardless of its effectiveness to kills pathogens and provide good quality drinking water, the safety issue of chlorine use has still been controversial in terms of the probability of its reverse effect on human health, especially in the long time consumption. There are two groups of world researchers that still debating whether the chlorine is or not carcinogenic, a characteristic of agent that can cause cancers. However, the common problems related to chlorine were the discomforts of chlorinated-water taste and odor that can lead customers using alternative drinking water source, such as bottled water, which is often more expensive. Despite that debatable issue of chlorine use, Dutch government and water companies believes that by using chlorine will give more problems than its benefits.

So, your next question would probably, is it safe to drink drinking water without chlorine from the tap directly in Amsterdam? How come? What is the secret? J. C. van Dijk’s research paper in 2009, titled “The Dutch secret: how to provide safe drinking water without chlorine in the Netherlands”, summarized five main approaches that Dutch governments highlighted and strengthened during production and distribution of drinking water:

First, they collect raw water from the best water sources. Second, they prefer to use physical process treatment such as sedimentation, filtration, UV-disinfection, or even ozonization instead of chlorination. Chlorine is forbidden! Third, they prevent contamination during distribution by constructing distribution pipe line using best quality material that prevent leaking. Fourth, they use biostable materials to prevent microbial growth in the distribution system, which is safe for health. Fifth, they regularly monitor for detection of any failure in the system to prevent significant health consequences immediately. Finally, the commitment and best effort of Dutch water companies and government to constantly improve their water supply system have been an important factors in achieving this success.

After knowing this brief information on how Dutch treat their drinking water supply, i guess there is no reason to waste your money on bottled drinking water while visiting Amsterdam. I would rather spend that money for famous dutch handicrafts as souvenirs instead. That is definitely what I will do if i get a chance to visit the city. Will you?

– ditulis oleh Jhon S. Purba


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