Myth of Water

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水要煲滾過先飲得?

老媽子常談:「阿仔,阿女,水要煲滾先飲得。」

事實上,香港的食水是符合世界衛生組織的《飲用水水質準則》[1], 不過當食水經過許多喉管送往用戶時,途中有機會帶上細菌或被污染,水質未必如濾水廠輸出時一樣。加上本港食水管過去採用無內搪層鍍鋅鋼管,這種喉管用上數年便會出現銹化情況,當食水在生銹的喉管內停留一段時間後便會容易變黃。

所以香港很多人都有煲滾自來食水的習慣,認為高温就能有效將水中細菌殺死,不過煲滾的過程未能將水中有害粒子及重金屬除走。2015年就發現公共屋邨食水因喉管問題而引致含鉛量超標,嚴重影響居民健康。

另外,一般人煲水的習慣就是當水滾後立即熄火,但此舉會令水中的氯化物殘留,對身體有害。故建議水滾後等1至2分鐘才熄火,讓水中的氯化物及殘餘有害物質透過蒸氣揮發。我們亦應盡量避免將煲過的水放涼至隔夜再飲用,又或是將水重複翻滾,這樣便可減少微生物滋生[2]

下次老媽子談煲水論時,記得提一提以上小貼士。  Let’s Drink Well!

Is It True Boiled Water Safer To Drink?

We are often advised to boil the water we drink. 

The drinking water supplied in Hong Kong complies with the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality 1. Some household or buildings contain higher level of heavy metals because the materials of the water pipes may have leaked to the water because unlined galvanised piles were widely used in Hong Kong in the past. These pipelines started to corrode as years went by and caused discolouration of water if they have been stagnant inside the pipe for a certain period of time. 

Back in 2015, drinking water in a couple of public housing estates were found to contain high levels of heavy metal.  Excessive levels of lead were detected and raised a lot of health concerns. Most people had the misconception that boiling water before consumption will address the water quality concern, thinking that high temperature can eradicate the bacteria. However, boiling cannot remove harmful particles or heavy metal.

If you are worried about organic matters in drinking water and want to continue to boil your drinking water. It is suggested that one should let the water boil and let the boiled water sit for 1 to minutes so that the chloride and harmful residues can evaporate. Chloride, the substance which suppressed the growth of bacteria is removed during boiling, which means that there is a chance of bacteria growth if the container used for storing the water is not sterilized 2.

Don’t hesitate to tell your families and friends for the above tips! Let’s Drink Well!

[1] https://www.wsd.gov.hk/tc/core-businesses/water-quality/my-drinking-water-quality/index.html

香港現時採用了世界衞生組織在2011年制定之《飲用水水質準則》(第4版)中的相關準則值/暫定準則值作為香港食水標準

[2]https://skypost.ulifestyle.com.hk/article/2449117/

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