Can I Drink Tap Water in Costa Rica?
Potable water can be consumed without risks of viruses, bacteria and chemicals. It goes through a disinfection process with bleach, salts and others. There are only two countries in Latin America where you can drink tap water and those are Chile and Costa Rica.
The procedure consists of collecting water in its natural state, removing the sand, it goes to a purification plant, then the turbidity, odor or other bacteria is eliminated to later apply metallic coagulants, its placed in tanks, filtered, alkaline and disinfected again to be able to store and distribute the water.
Drinking water is fundamental for public health and it is necessary to take care of the resources and the purification plants. Costa Rica provides clean water through the AyA which has 214 aqueducts and supplies 48% of the population, ASADAS, municipalities and ESPH cover the rest to reach almost 100% of the territory. However, it hasn’t always been this way, in 2005 only 70% of the population had access to drinkable water so it has improved a lot not only in coverage but also in technology.
People need to be more hygienic because washing hands and food before preparing it is very important to be healthy.
Water purification is expensive and that is one of the reasons why Costa Rica is not more advanced technologically regarding water treatment. People in Costa Rica pay cheap for its high-quality water and the Estate assumes the operational and distribution costs.
Costa Rica, being a tropical country, faces both drought and floods but also other climatic emergencies. There are 38 water treatment plants in Costa Rica. Professionals like microbiologists and chemists analyze sanitary results.
The legislation from the Central Government and other Ministries (around 275 laws in total regarding water and water treatment) is mixed up about water treatment with the best intentions in mind but it is not an efficient way to administer this precious natural resource.