Sunday, January 2, 2022

PURIFIED DRINKING WATER—Bottled Water versus an Inline Filter

 Don’t Drink the Tap Water in México!

Our Drinking Water Dispenser in Sayulita

     Living in México, most residents and visitors alike drink only purified water, as there’s no guarantee that the tap water is safe to drink. Most purchase 5-gallon garrafónes (refillable bottles) of purified water for drinking—we did for the first six years that we lived here and it helped keep us healthy.

     We also carried several garrafónes of water while traveling in our RV and planned to continue the practice no matter where we live, even in the U.S. Who knows what comes in through the pipes!

     One of our Mexican neighbors in Sayulita recommended that we purchase Ciel® water produced by the Coca-Cola company, telling us that it was the best water. We were skeptical since it was a little more expensive. One Ciel bottle costs 32 pesos rather than 26 pesos for locally purified bottles, about 30 US cents more per five gallons—that adds up over a year. Is there really a difference in bottled water? But we took their advice. It did taste better than the drinking water prepared by the local purification plant, but probably due to the minerals that Ciel adds to improve flavor.

Bella Playing by the Garrafones of Ciel Water

     When we moved to our condo in Puerto Vallarta, we decided we wanted to eliminate the weekly purchase of several bottles of purified water from the truck that delivered it to our doorstep. It was a hassle and physically challenging to lift those heavy bottles and insert the garrafón neck into the water dispenser. I couldn’t do it unless I pumped half the water out first. Once Jon started having back pain, it was time to find another purified water source.

Ready for Ciel Water Delivery in Sayulita

     We refuse to buy single-use bottles of drinking water. Our planet is polluted with too much plastic as it is. We needed another solution.

     A condominium administrator told us people drink the water from the refrigerator water dispenser and they haven’t had complaints. When Jon looked at the type of filter used in our refrigerator, we realized that they do not filter out heavy metals, which can contribute to causing cancer, or other microscopic particulates.

Drink the Water from the Refrigerator Dispenser?

     We viewed a YouTube video by the Two Expats Mexico titled, “Is It Safe to Drink the Tap Water in Mexico?”. I was convinced by the segment about city water pipe conditions and repairs not to drink unfiltered city water. Knowing how broken and old pipes affect water purity, we decided we didn't trust the Puerto Vallarta water to be pure enough to drink.

     But a quality water filter can be used to purify tap water. Jon started researching inline water filters that filtered more. He came up with a plan to purchase a Waterdrop® filter from Amazon Mexico since they now stock them and ship to Puerto Vallarta.

Waterdrop Inline Filter for Under the Sink

     Jon installed a single Waterdrop®, a five-stage water filter to the cold-water line under the kitchen sink of our Condo in Puerta Vallarta to provide us with our purified drinking water. With a filtration accuracy of 0.5 μm, the Waterdrop multistage filter improves the quality of drinking water by reducing contaminants such as lead, mercury, fluoride, chlorine and chloramines, taste and odor, sediment, and rust.  The system also retains minerals that are essential to your body, such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium.

Jon Installing the Inline Water Filter Under the Kitchen Sink
Jon Checks for Leaks in the Connections

     We don’t have to worry about the safety of our filtered water now.  When used with municipal water, each filter has a maximum service life of 24 months or 16,000 gallons. We will err on the side of caution and install a new filter cartridge every year. If the cold-water flow slows significantly, the filter cartridge is clogged with particulate and can be backflushed or replaced.

     Currently, the Waterdrop 17UA-UF Under Sink Water Filter System, with an improved filtration accuracy to 0.01 μm (a micrometer is one-millionth of a meter), and a larger 19,000-gallon service life, is available from The total price for a complete system is around $150 US plus shipping. The replacement filters are about $82 US with shipping on That costs us about $7 US per month when we change it yearly, about the same as buying Ciel drinking water in 5-gallon garrafónes, but much more convenient. In the U.S., you can order these items at

Hurricane Nora was Coming—Time to Stock Up On Water

     Hurricane Nora caused widespread flooding and broken pipes in August shortly after we moved into our condo. Repairs to water lines in Puerto Vallarta are still underway four months later. We were glad we had a few garrafónes of drinking water to tide us over until our Waterdrop filter arrived and Jon could get it installed. Now, while we brush our teeth with tap water, we only use filtered water for drinking and cooking.

     This is part of Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico.

     I invite you to SIGN UP for my "Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter", published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.

     Have you read the #4 eBook in the "Healthy Living in Mexico” series, Life in Mexico Never a Dull Moment, a collection of stories? Available worldwide, it's FREE with kindleunlimited. Here’s a helpful review for this book:

"Useful Info, Entertaining Anecdotes

This book is packed with useful information on traveling in northwest Mexico. The author’s style is casual and easy to read. Well worth the time."

     Are you interested in Medical Fiction? Check out my second book in the “In Sickness and In Health” series, “Pickle Jar Test: A Novel”. In this love story with a little romance and information about Parkinson’s disease, follow Jake and Lindsay as they adjust to living in México with a new diagnosis and treatment.

     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. Jon and I co-wrote this article, Jon being the expert on anything technical. As a self-published author on Amazon worldwide, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books.

     Happy reading and traveling. Cheers and Happy New Year!

     Terry and Jon

Terry L Turrell, Author

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