Do you drink Guam's tap water? - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Do you drink Guam's tap water?

by Lannie Walker

Guam - As the Guam Water Works Authority continues its campaign to assure residents drinking Guam's tap water is safe, we wanted to find if people are actually doing it.  

"We are constantly testing our water, our 100 wells that are operational are tested every single day," said GWA spokesperson Heidi Ballendorf.  The samples are brought back to GWA's lab and put through a series of tests for harmful materials, she says, to insure the water is safe for human consumption.  But not everyone is convinced.

"I think they say its safe," responded one island resident, "but you know the pipes under ground it might be safe from the source but spread out all over the island.  I don't trust that."

KUAM then asked Ballendorf if possible contaminated pipes are a valid concern, to which she said, "I've never once heard of our pipe being contaminated.  A lot of old pipes rust; it's not something that has been determined to kill people," she said.

Okay, so maybe it won't kill you, but what about the taste?  One neighbor said emphatically about the quality of the island's water, "I do, yes its delicious!"

I took a taste today personally, but my review wasn't quite as glowing.

But Ballendorf says Guam's tap water may be even safer than some bottled water, noting, "The guidelines that govern bottled water are not as strict as the guidelines that GWA has to meet everyday with the Safe Drinking Water Act."  She added that small amounts of chlorine are added to tap water to kill any bacteria

She also denied that the utility agency has ever found anything in her history with GWA that could be harmful for people to drink.  And while the results of our informal survey were mixed, Ballendorfs message about drinking tap water is not.

"Our water continues to be the safest to drink than it has been in decades," she stated confidently.

No matter the message, it seems there will always be those who choose to stick to bottled water.  

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