Filipino Tap Water Quality

Last night I went to draw water for my sons bath as I do most nights. Got water from the “bathtub” and put it on to heat then turned on the tap to fill “THE TUB”. I returned about 15 minutes later to turn the tap off, water pressure sucks and as mom would say “I can pee harder than that.” and she would be right. So here’s what I got out of the tap:

Philippines tap waterNotice you can barely see the bottom of the tub? Well I dumped this and refilled it no less than 4 times and got the same results. Left water running to flush the line to no avail then this am it is still the same thing. I was thinking about calling the water company and have them look at it but we all know how that would go,, “Don’t like it, go somewhere else”, “That’s the way we do it in the philippines.” “There nothing wrong with the water.” “What did you do to the water? It’s not our fault.” Guess I could always plant crops huh? But i just love it when filipinos tell me water from the tap good enough to drink and meets health standards. I also noticed these same filipinos buy bottled water to drink. More pinoy pride and never let the facts get in the way.

Published in Filipino Stupidity, Low Standards


  1. Profile gravatar of Hey Joe
    Hey Joe

    Wow Mike, yours is worse than ours. Ours is real yellow and smells bad. Pressure is not bad most of the time. The new problem we have been having here the last 2 months or so is air in the lines.. sometimes lots of it. Taking a shower the other night, good spray, then just a huge spray of nothing but air for like 5sec, (blow-dry) 🙂
    All this air makes the valves in the toilets and washer bang and make strange noises. Sure it’s not good for them.
    We never drink tap water here. What a joke that they say it’s fine to drink. BULLSHIT it’s safe.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike
      Mike Post author

      Well here it is a few days later and water still the same, just little less brown. Before this we did have water like yours without the smell but would still have dirt settle at the bottom. Wife talked to other moms at sons school and they say their water is the same and this is a large city. Guess this is a good point. On Yahoo they talk about kicking China ass in a war. Just how can they do that when they cannot do the most simple, basic things like clean water, reliable elec/internet or throw trash in a trash can?

      1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

        ” kicking China ass in a war”, talk about delusional, China could bury most countries using only forks if they chose to.

        1. Profile gravatar of Mufazzza

          I think they use pins, not forks!;-) They’ll have the phils for morning-coffee snack! If the flips don’t get that they’ll soon do something Really stupid! Oh well, time to grow up and learn!;-)

    2. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      Two months? I finally moved out of a place because the water just got worse and worse. The water bill was hitting P450 (normal bill would be around P150) for air that leaked because it was under so much pressure. We had NO water leaks!! I replaced all the faucets in the house from the cheap plastic to more expensive ones (you could hear a loud hissing noise from air leak on one of them). The bill dropped down to P150 for a whole month, then back up it went. Like you said you could hear the pipes rattle and bang like hell from the air, very bad for plumbing!!! The situation got worse and worse over two years until at Christmas time I hit 2 weeks in a row only getting water late at night. No land, so storage tank would have to be suspended above roof somehow. Figured that would be expensive. The landlord was already making hints of wanting to raise the rent so I just moved.

  2. Profile gravatar of Hey Joe
    Hey Joe

    LOL, pinoys kick china’s ass?????? with what? spit wads ?? the phil air force? the navy? oh my f-ing god!
    I have more fire power at home than they do 🙂 This so called country is like a babe in the woods and ripe to be taken over by anyone that wants to.(might not be a bad thing)????? Guess that would depend on who??

    The entire infrastructure of this place is held together with spit and bubblegum, water/power/fuel/commutation, everything could be taken down by a monkey piloting a biplane dropping water bombs.
    Just a month ago our little town went black for 2 days because of weeds/vines growing into the power wires and blowing-up a transformer.

    We have talked about putting in a well. But why. I feel it’s a safe bet the groundwater is contaminated and unsafe. Plus when the power goes out, down goes our pump. My solar power system is not big enough to power a big deep well pump.
    I would be happy to make it that big, but I’m not made out of money. Some day I would be happy to tell the power & water Co’s to kiss my ass.

  3. Profile gravatar of BLX2

    @oldnavyfart, At Ace Hardware they sell a water heater for P350. It has a brown electric cord about a meter long and at the end is the heater with a outer plastic yellow case a little bigger than a hardball (there’s also a smaller design). You plug it in FIRST than drop it into a pail or tub of water and it heats it up pretty quick. Do not touch the water with it in, you will get a shock, put it in and take it out of the water with it plugged in to avoid spark at the outlet. It sounded like you are heating water on a stove, this device makes heating water for baths (or laundry, dishes, if you’re so inclined) a lot easier. I’ve used one a few times over the years while waiting to get an electric shower installed in a new place.

      1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

        I have the metal heating at the end of the cord. Heats up really quickly, I’d say within 5 minutes, no more than that or you’ll come back with boiled water on your bucket. My Aunt has the plastic yellow case, but it’s either broke or inefficient.

  4. Profile gravatar of emrys

    I actually drink water from the tap…..after I put it through my pocket water filter hahahah. I got this little nifty piece of kit when I was working. not sure if anyone has heard of katadyn pocket water filters. they aren’t cheap. but they are basically made to filter the worst water you can find in a third world country. the pump is around 410 cnd but comes with filter. a replacement filter is 220cnd. I know ,sounds expensive. however if I replace a filter every year, I can get 55 gallons a week. so it actually ends up being cheaper than buying water there in the Philippines. that’s if I was using 55 gallons a week hahah. but at least I know that my water is actually clean and not just from the tap at the water station(which I sometimes expect that’s what happens.hey it happens here in Canada,why not there. but I like having it for a “just in case something happens”, like real bad typhoon or earthquake. it’s small and takes up absolutely no real room. down side is 1 liter a minute. but I can pump the water I needed for the day before a water delivery would get to my door, and it’s good exercise for my fingers.

    I’m back there in a couple weeks. been wandering the woods, soaking up the fall before I go back to that concrete monstrosity.

    now hopefully I did the math right!
    it filters 50,000liters. so that’s around 13208gallons / 5 gallon jugs is 2641.6- 5 gallon jugs x 120p comes to 316992p worth of water if you were buying it. 316,992p converted into Canadian is around 9323cnd ( or around 6899USD) so buying it at 440cnd(325USD) is pretty worth it. 220 for a spare filter.

    or is my math wrong? I haven’t slept for 2 days hahaha. so it totally could be.

      1. Profile gravatar of emrys

        hahahh yeah. actually almost thought I could do this as a business while writing. get 5 Filipinos pumping all day and I would come out with a profit. but to much hassle. I just like the savings and it will be good for emergencies. fits in a pocket if we got to go fast. at least we will have water. maybe even a way to barter if things get super bad in a tragic situation.

        I don’t tell anyone local about it. just another good thing for them to steal. but it saves my girl and me a bunch of cash.

  5. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    To emrys.
    Shoot a moose for me and bring me some black licorice. I have not been to the land ice and ssnow for 8 years. The fall colors must tbe nice now. Fall is the best time of the year in next year country!!

    1. Profile gravatar of emrys

      hahah hey al, yeah I won’t be able to shoot you a moose. you know my deal. with my limited vision it’s a real blur of colors but it’s that smell. fall smell. any canuck will know what I’m talking about. yeah I know you want your black licorice. bringing you a couple packets of it. my girl and I might make a trip to baguio at some point, so I’ll be passing through manila. figured i’ll stick them in my pack just in case I am passing through the area. I’ll let you know in a pm when I hit the area. been trapping lots of rabbits though. just getting my last few weeks in.

  6. Profile gravatar of Sarah

    For a country with such high rainfall, I really can’t understand why the people won’t utilize this resource. Lots of rain water tanks for sale, but I see very few houses that have them, even in the province. The craziest thing I saw (I should hate taken a photo of it – but I will next time) was a rain water tank perched right high on the rooftop. Not under the eaves where one can get the maximum volume of rain. I asked one of our relatives what use would a tank perched on top of the roof be? It’s not gonna catch enough volume of rain to fill it. “oh, it’s not for rain. They fill it with town water. They sit it up there so they won’t need a pump to get the water down”, Uncle replied. Yeah, but water still need to get up there. With the poor water pressure, how would it get up there?? Pinoy illogic or am I stupid? I scratched my head on that…..

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny

      Yeah, I’ve seen something like that. Those water tanks do not have a way to really catch the most amount of water. It’s just an opening. We put ours underneath the drainage of the rooftop so our is always over-filled during rainy season.

      1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
        Don Quixote

        In Australia, We have what is called the First Catch System.
        The first rain water down a down pipe is flushed through the storm drain until it is back filled and then it over flows into the water tank.
        There are two down pipes connected with a T Piece at the top when one fills it over backs up and then flows into the second pipe.
        That takes care of dirt and leaves etc.
        That can be made easily here with just PVC pipes at the local hardware store, Send me a PM and I will draw it for you.
        Easy to make with a hack saw and some glue.

        1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

          Don, you kidding right? You really expect the Flips to even bother looking at your drawing? They’d much prefer to sit on their ass and put up with the lack of anything. Lacking in brains, lacking in motivation, lacking in ideas, lacking in resources / funds. Only thing they aren’t lacking is how and where they can get SEX any time of the day!!

        2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

          Hey Don, we use a couple of different systems. I’m in the USA now and plan to be for a long time, but I will definitely hit you up if needed.

    2. Profile gravatar of BLX2

      Water pressure is so bad in some areas that there is no water until midnight or later. Once it gets that late and the cities asleep the pressure finally gets good enough and it will fill the tank (at least partially). As far as catching rain water for those in the city, would you really want it after it was contaminated cleaning the air as it fell?

      1. Profile gravatar of Sarah

        Even for flushing the toilets, biggie, or for cleaning, washing cars etc. But catching rain in the provinces should be OK. I see those volumes of water running down the yard, nice and clear water. No pollution there. One time I suggested this to low-life, ass-wipe, greedy Uncle (put an under eaves tank). He told me that the rain water is polluted. I said even just for watering your plants, washing your car etc? He did not take up my suggestion.

        Come fiesta time, no water to wash anything. So with no vehicle to borrow and with no access road for a water truck to deliver water to his place (after he pissed us all off), he was fetching water using his motorbike up and down, up and down several times. Has he got a water tank now? Nope! Instead he put his money on a new car to show off, a car that is totally impractical for the province, but good for showing off, but can’t handle the deep craters on the roads, they call pot holes, that are sometimes deep enough to swallow a whole tricycle. That’s Flip mentality for you.

        1. Profile gravatar of BLX2

          Good point, and since we and most people drink bottled water it’s probably not a big deal. I’m kind of tunnel vision when it comes to good water and pressure. It is one of the top amenities I miss most. I’ve now buried myself in a gated community without sari sari, roosters, beggars, videoke, has private garbage pickup, and good water pressure. Call the guard and taxi arrives at your door. A beautiful house that’s easy to cool. I actually can now take hot showers with pressure that is better than bare minimum. And a very good price on the rent. I’m hoping this is karma after the landlord from hell and street of thieves, knock on wood. I’ve had to deal with water issues a couple of places here, X1 insisted on rewashing any clothes that got caught in the rain because she said it made them dirty and that is the only practice I follow her lead on. I’m a water snob.

      2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

        For shower or washing clothes, I think it is ok. Yeah, I’m definitely not drinking it, thats for sure.
        I live in the province and the tank is nearly 50feet up and we are near the water. The pollution or carbon usually does not get that high. Manila is another story.
        2nd floor and below of any city has carbon all over. Just touch any flat surface. We clean our 2nd floor and wipe it down well, but after a few days, the carbon is back. 3rd floor and higher doesn’t get it so much.

    3. Profile gravatar of emrys

      yeah it’s so weird. I got 3 1500 gallon tanks set up off my eves and it gets filled super fast here after a good week of rain. don’t know why they don’t do that there in the phil. just even using it for garden water or “grey” water apps. my system is set up to run it through all my sinks into a storage well for my toilet and “garden” water. just recycling it. plants get so much out of all the “dirt” that goes through. I even wash my clothes with it. do it by hand because,hey, good work out hahahha. don’t know why there aren’t more people collecting it off their roofs. doesn’t matter about the pollution for “grey” water applications.

      I’m actually excited to be getting back there ,sort of. my girl found an awesome place up in the mountains close to her work for a really good price. was sort of concerned when she mentioned it being” not to extravagant”. she ended up sending me pics. good place, but the first thing I will be doing is setting up a water collection system. even if I have to fill a 5 gallon bucket to bring that in the house to put in the toilet tank. just saves money.

      for people who say they are so poor, I don’t know why they can’t figure out simple cost saving measures. I’m not so poor. not bragging. but really, one reason I’m not is because I utilize nature. rain falls, collect it in the biggest bucket you can, and you’ve saved some money. yep, super kuripot. hahahhah.

      in Taoism there is a story of a man who is rich. when people ask him how he got rich he said that he stole. them thinking he was a thief he had to explain himself. ” I only stole from nature” he said. the people accusing him of being a thief didn’t know what he meant. ” I stole some berries off a bush, the rain from the ground, and the animals lives that wandered to close to my home”.

      you figure a culture that really is a bunch of thieves would have figured this out hhahah.

    4. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      As we know there are water tanks and water tanks, the crap Ive seen here in the Failoppines is amazing. BESTATANK that will hold about 50 gallons, BUT THEY ARE SHINY, look like fake stainless steel.
      An Ozzie mate of mine bought 5 and linked them in a row just to water his garden and do the washing and flush the shitters etc, he got sick to death of the Town water staining every thing brown.
      For Christ sake in Australia they are a min, 1000 litres most under the eave narrow tanks are over 2000 litres.
      A few years back we were required by law to install water tanks on ALL NEW BUILDINGS.!!!!!!!!!!!!
      WE can buy over the phone in ten minutes and get delivered a 5,000 gallon tank. Made of fiberglass or Corrugated ColourBond Steel
      You can order a 20,000 gallon water tank. PLUS PLUS PLUS just about the money.
      We got tax rebates for installing water saving devices, NONE of which I have ever heard of in the PI.
      They bitch about their water yet do NOTHING about it.
      They bitch about power outages they do NOTHING about it
      Like the power stations and global warming bullshit they cry about , we need to stop Global Warming , !!!!!!!!!!!
      Solution, build NEW COAL FIRED Power stations, nothing else considered
      Why not as a thought REMOVE all the bullshit TAXES they have on Solar Power and Water saving devices.
      Ive just installed 5 kilowatts of Solar Power and a 3000 liter water tank on my 30 year old home in OZ.
      TRUST ME I’m no GREENIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Its all cost effective now. If they remove all the fucking taxes they charge here.
      The Don

      1. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
        Don Quixote

        I can drink the tap water on SBMA, we pay double what the local town does in water rates each month but we have potable water and sewerage connected to the mains.
        But nothing that was installed by the Flips, we can thank the US Navy for that,
        Our biggest worry is the FLIPS Maintain it.

  7. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Well, I lived in a village in the province and the Barangay Capt. turned off the water at around 9 PM each night and then turned back on at 5 AM.

    I asked the question what happens if there’s a fire and why was this being done? Was it being done to save power or save water.

    What I did notice is that people went to the taps both in our house and outside in neighbouring houses and turn them on full only to realise that the water was turned off at the mains…… but on turning the taps for long and getting no water they didn’t turn the taps back the other way so at 5 AM each morning I would awaken to water going everywhere out of the sink outside all over the place. So whether this was a water-saving measure I don’t know…

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike
      Mike Post author

      I saw that too. As soon as water went out they would go and turn on EVERY tap in the house and outhouse and leave them open. Then go far enough away where they could not hear the water come on. So several times I found barrels overflowing that have been like that all night. Then when I ask about it they say so they know when it comes on. When pointed out they could not hear and it ran all night,,,, blank stare. Another favorite is when they unplug the tv because the little red power light uses electric but leave all the lights on in the rooms. What do they say? The lights in room do not as much electric as the little red light.

      1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

        yea Mike … its wierd….

        like they turn off the fridge at night! to save power … but the temperatures dont drop substantially.
        So i stayed at the ex-gf place and the fridge goes off at night and on in AM.

  8. Profile gravatar of dpjb2923

    I have a keen interest in this subject
    Lately I have been on the Inet researching this idea of rainfall
    Beleive it or not you can filter that water in that bucket and rainfall and drink it with the a DIY system I have come up with that incorporates various technologies old and new.
    I have been researching sourcing of various hardware and material in the Phils to do this.
    First is setting up your roof to catch the rain, then having a filter they call a leaf catch (Aussie idea), then as someone mentioned a First Flush system. the size of this is determined by how big your roof is catching the water and then on to the Bestank to hold the water
    From there you can utilize a combination of clean gravel in different sizes, sand and charcoal to filter it The blue tank will have to be on a pedistal for the next process, the next two processes you can figure out, they are a bit pricey but can make the water safe and you can make thousands and thousands of gallons, and then into the 5 gallon tank and you have water that is very fit to drink. And if you must, 1/2 tsp of chlorine (Clorox Bleach) for those five gallons, but some may not want that nor would it be necessary.
    its all done using pvc pipe, stainless steel tanks and blue tanks (and the other technologies) so the water will not promote algea growth
    Can anyone comment on Citi Hardware as a hardware store?
    All this can be done instead of those Reverse Osmossis setups at watering station
    is it anywhere good as Lowes or Home Depot? I understand sourcing the most simple thing can be a chore in that looney country

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      On my way out of PNG, I talked to guy who built 100 man camps. For 50,000 dollaars they have a water filtration system that catches dirt to .002 mms. Then it back flushes with a lot less water than revers eosmoissis.The camps they built collected rain water off the roof and filtered it.
      I have shopped at ace hardware,, but like with all things,, chinese made rules in any country.
      We used to collect rain water, then put it in a cistern in the basement of our house,
      We lived throughthat with no problems,, until a cat drownd in it,..

    2. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
      Don Quixote

      You can buy a two stage filtration system at ACE in the Philippines, just connect it on the suction side of the pressure water pump so your tank doesn’t fill up with mud.
      Then on the pressure side fit a charcoal micron filter to take out the rest.
      I wont guarantee the water pressure by then.
      Don’t use bleach to sanitize buy the right stuff for human digestion.
      Bleach has extras in it,
      The cost of the cartridges for the filters are not that expensive.

  9. Profile gravatar of Thunderhead

    A good set of water filters goes a long way. First filter is to get rid of the big chunks. Second in series with it gets rid of the smaller chunks, and the third filter gets rid of the biological contaminants. Three filters are needed to keep the filters from becoming clogged almost immediately.

  10. Profile gravatar of Tough Water
    Tough Water

    According to Water Supply Engineers “Water pressure pumps increase the risks of contamination in your tap water due to the pumps pulling(pulls bacteria inside when there are leaks) instead of allowing the water to just flow (going to it’s destined location which is your tap) in which there won’t be any contamination because the bacteria is being pushed out as the water flow is continuous along the pipelines.

    -Water Supply Engineer from the Local Water Utilities Administration

    Want to learn more?

    Is your tap water safe for drinking? Find out in this informative website!
    It tackles about tap water safety in the Philippines

    All information provided in this Informative website are well-researched and has valid and credible sources both local and international namely(Government Water regulators LWUA and MWSS as well as the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)

    Check this out and if you like the website please send us your feedback here

    Your feedback is very much appreciated and the website is constantly being updated to cater to it’s user’s preferences or for it’s own improvement.