How to Get Safe Drinking Water in Tonga
In the heat of the tropical sun, it’s especially important to stay hydrated during your trip to Tonga. However, with tap water not being too friendly on visitors’ stomachs in Tonga – see Can You Drink the Water in Tonga?, it’s advised that you treat water yourself before drinking it. This can be done in a number of ways, which we’ll go through in this list of ways to make sure water is safe to drink in Tonga. We also recommend a few alternatives to drinking tap water (that doesn’t involve drinking Tongan beer or kava all day).
1. Boil Water Before Drinking
The way to ensure water is 100% safe to drink is to boil it first. Boiling water kills any parasites, bacteria and viruses in the water. Boil water on a hard boil for 10 minutes before taking it off the heat for it to cool.
2. Use a Water-Purification Filter
Because many travellers might not have access to hot stoves to boil water, the next best thing is to use a water-purification filter. One of the market leaders in water-pruification straws and bottles is Lifestraw, which removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan. With its hollow fibre membrane and carbon filter, the Lifestraw Bottle is as easy to use as filling the bottle up with tap water or other drinking water and sucking the water through the mouth piece. The TongaPocketGuide.com team have trialled and tested it with the tap water throughout Tonga without experiencing any health issues. See more gadgets like this in 10 Must-Have Gadgets to Pack for Tonga.
3. Use Water-Purification Tablets
While water purification tablets are not as effective as the top two points on this list, they are a good cheaper alternative to the Lifestaw and a back-up for when boiling water is not an option. Water purification tablets such as Portable Aqua Water Purification Tablets contain iodine that eliminates waterborne bacteria like E. coli, cholera and salmonella. They are also compact to pack in your backpack/suitcase and are easy to use by disolving the tablets in the water you intend to drink. See more health essentials to pack in What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Tonga.
4. Stay in a Resort with its Own Water Filtration System
Before booking into a resort, ask what drinking water is available and how is it treated. While some resorts might have filtration, ultraviolet (UV) light and chemical disinfection systems, others will simply have rainwater with no filter. To name a few resorts that filter/treat rainwater, there’s the Mandala Resort, Treasure Island Eco Resort, Mounu Island Resort and Serenity Beaches Resort.
5. Drink Bottled Water
Finally, we recommend drinking bottled water as a last resort for drinking safe water in Tonga. It’s no secret that bottled water is not only a polluting industry (2,000 times more polluting that distributing tap water). Not to mention, contributing micro-plastic poisoning to the oceans is not a good way to say thank to you to the whales and their calves that you inevitably came to swim with in Tonga. Bottled water is often distributed to rooms in some hotels in Tonga, as well as sold in supermarkets and fale koloa (convenience stores). In short, think about the kids and the planet and use one of the other solutions on this list.