Home Miscellaneous Don’t Drink This Tap Water

Don’t Drink This Tap Water

by Krista


A few months ago, I moved into a new office. This sign hangs in the ladies’ room. I’m oddly fascinated by it.

At my birthday dinner earlier this year (at La Porchetta in Clerkenwell, which I never did write about), we talked about tap water. As we often do when I’m around and refuse to drink the bottled stuff.

Al & Louise told a horrifying story about a dead bird and a cistern (or maybe it was a well) and someone getting up to get a glass of water in the middle of the night and not knowing that you’re not supposed to drink from the bathroom faucet. That poor soul got really ill.

But I have to wonder…in the City, where is it that our office tap water is coming from? Why is it so bad?

You may also like


Melanie September 25, 2008 - 10:03 am

Same thing at my office, though I think our situation is even more worrisome: The toilet on the third floor has a ‘not drinking water’ sign, but the one on the forth does not. Don’t all buildings have the same water pipes? :-/

Thank goodness we have a watercooler.

bob September 25, 2008 - 10:33 am

Its traditional for the kitchen tap to be fed directly from outside pipes where as other taps may come from storage tanks located in the attic or even on the roof. thats how birds can get in.

So kitchen taps are normally fine to drink from.

Jonny September 25, 2008 - 7:09 pm

I discovered a dead bird & *lots* of pigeon droppings in a water tank on the roof of an office building. The occupants didn’t sound too thrilled, especially as they had been using the water from that tank to make tea for years!

Jonathan September 28, 2008 - 5:30 pm

I wonder whether knowing that the water has rat dropping/dead pigeons in it is what causes us to get ill…

I’ve got a feeling that the more bugs we consume and still stay alive, the more immune we become to other nasty things.

My friends from school who lived in farm houses with animals running around hardly ever got ill, whereas the guys who lived in hermetically sealed houses always had sniffles and colds.

A few little baddies help to build up the immune system! That said… I’ll be drinking from the water cooler from now on!

Sig September 29, 2008 - 12:26 am

Wow, great site! Wish I had seen it before my London trip…

Faine September 29, 2008 - 5:40 am

Love the sign. And yes, where the heck is scary water coming from in London? I’m here in New Orleans and I get iffy about tap water but we’re not exactly known for our hygiene..

I remember accidentally brushing my teeth with tap water a few times in India and China and wondering if I would mutate. Hasn’t happened yet.

You blog is making me want to go back to London (tap water or not.)

Bombay Beauty September 29, 2008 - 1:04 pm

Indeed, it has to do with water from the mains as opposed to stored in tanks. It may also have to do with the fact that water quality is checked only from faucets designated as drinking water. A lot of water quality issues in the US or UK have to do with the old pipes in the building.

But you’re right, here in the US no such distinction is made. I’m drink hizhonor’s finest by the gallon…


Michael October 5, 2008 - 3:12 pm

Ugh – this sort of thing makes me feel ill!

While I don’t particularly think bottled water is great environmentally, I drink it in work, because I don’t trust what comes out. Maybe I should print this blog out and show it to the powers that be, suggesting a watercooler!

Comments are closed.