A simple test comparing bottled water, filtered and tap water
I am spending more time in Tenerife these days and am keen to understand whether the water is safe to drink out of the tap, after it's been filtered or not at all. I've read lots of articles online and looked for official guidance, but I didn't find anything especially helpful. It's well known the water here is very hard with lots of limescale.
I reached out to Janet Anscombe, always a reliable source of help on the island, and she told me that, “technically, the water is safe to drink, but in my experience and opinion, on the coast it is not worth doing so,” she said this is not official, it's just her opinion, and that on the coast she would only drink bottled water.
So I bought some basic water testing strips off Amazon and decided to run my own tests. I realise that my findings are far from definitive – the strips are cheap and there is a degree of guess work as to where the results fall on their guidance cards... but they have given me some clarity.
My partner had already tried the PureAire jug. It claims to “transform ordinary tap water into antioxidant rich water to help energize and revitalise your body” and amongst other things, “reduce limescale” and “create a pH 8.5-10”. I don't know what that means but I can you I like the taste.
Here's what I found
All the results are in the ideal neutral pH range of 6-8, even the PureAire, which claims to make it even higher.
As for alkalinity, there were all high, except for the bottled water. The PureAire was actually so high it was off the chart, which is exactly what it claims to do. If you want very alkaline water, it's doing it job.
It's the hardness of the water that was most interesting for me. The PureAire didn't alter the hardness, (which is maybe where all the alkalinity is coming from) so, if you're looking to remove limescale from your kettle, there's no point in running through the PureAire first.
Surprisingly, the Brita removed all of the hardness. It also maintained an exactly neutral pH value of 7. For me the Brita is the clear choice. It tastes good, removes the hardness and saves me hauling huge bottles of water home from the supermarket everyday.
What do you think?
I'm not an expert. I did a few tests with a simple kit so I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you done your own tests? Do you use a different kind of filter? Do you think it's safe to drink?
While you’re here
Beyond fussing over water quality, the way I actually spend my time is singing. If you like easy listening and jazz in the style of Sinatra, you might enjoy my Legends of Las Vegas podcast or some of my own recordings. You can find me on Spotify here.