“Panama has the best drinking water in the world” – True or False?

  This was the standard phrase, when I talked with locals about the quality of drinking water in the city and in the interior, one year ago. This situation changed dramatically with the heavy rainfalls last November and December which washed up high amounts of sediment in the basins of IDAAN’s water supply. The situation in the interior changed also with construction sites appearing everywhere. More population means more problems for waste disposal. Also the uncontrolled burning of garbage ends up polluting the ground water and infiltrates the water in wells (pozos). Recently the poor water quality in the city forced many Panamanians to depend on bottled water, which increased bottled water sales all over the country. The situation brought up the question of how safe is bottled water? In answer, La Prensa ran an article on the 20th of Jan. 2011, where they tested 18 different bottled waters brands. Results found that even the bottled water contained fecal matter and some illness causing bacteria.

Here in the Coronado area the construction of new malls and hundreds of private homes which will be delivered in the near future, will produce with a high demand for clean water. Water which will contain an increased amount of sediment. To combat the situation, water filters are needed.

There are some basic function we are looking for in a water filter. We want to remove sediment and we want to remove chlorine, bad taste and odor, through purification.

Let me explain:

Proper sediment filtration will remove all the visible particle in water. When you hold a glass of unfiltered water to the light, you will see small particles floating around. Proper filtration eliminates this. Bacteria lives in sediment. It also lives in water pipes and in the bottom of water tanks. With a proper sediment filter, you will remove unwanted particles, waste matter (from animals, septic seepage), and illness causing bacteria. With the removal of sediment around 100 mikron grain size, you also remove 80 % of many bacteria. A Sediment filter should be installed at the main water pipe coming into the house. A state of the art sediment filter should be a self-cleaning type. This kind of filter does not require a replacement of the filter - so this is a once in a lifetime investment.

Once water has passed through the Sediment Filter, a Water Purifier will eliminate smaller bacteria, chlorine and bad taste. This type of filter also prevents the growth of bacteria in pipes when the water tap has not been used for a week or more, making it important to have if you own a weekend home in the beach area.

So to put things into context, YES, Panama does have the best drinking water in the world, but only if it is properly filtered. If you live in a high population, high construction area, and if your area disposes of waste through burning and has a high use of septic tanks, you can count on unwanted elements getting into your drinking water supply, regardless of whether you use water from IDANN or a well.

After doing research on water tables and filters, I import water filters from Germany and distribute it through out Panama. The filters I recommend can be found at HIM in Coronado. If you have any questions on water filtration or require a consultation, please call or email me. I will be happy to help. Water is the most important part in our daily nutrition. Drink in good health.

Click here for the Water filters I recommend.

Matthias Ort

Email: golfpanama@gmail.com
Phone:+507 6070 1677