Home » Caribbean » Is Bahamas Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Is Bahamas Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Susan Laurent
Last Updated on
by Susan Laurent

Bahamas’ tap water is generally safe, but if you’re sensitive to changes, a few tweaks might help. Here’s what you can do.

Wondering whether it’s safe to drink straight from the tap while you’re in the Bahamas? The tap water in the Bahamas complies with drinking standards, so it’s generally safe.

However, the more central, urbanized areas and islands of this archipelagic state have better water quality than the rural ones, so there is some variation in water quality between islands and areas where it’s recommended that you stick with bottled water. Plus, many tourists prefer bottled water because the tap water can have a slightly different aftertaste than what they’re used to.

So if you’re extra picky about your water or have a delicate stomach, no worries. We’ll share all the info you need to know about tap water quality in the Bahamas.

Bahamian Water 101

Bahamian Tap Water

Water in the Bahamas is treated according to guidelines from the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Department of Environmental Health Services, and the World Health Organization.

Bahamian water goes through a process of remineralization, desalination, and chlorination before it reaches the tap. Here’s what the terms mean:

  • Remineralization is the process of adding back the good stuff into the water. When water is treated, it can lose its healthy minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Remineralization puts these minerals back into the water to make it healthier to drink.
  • Desalination is the process of taking the salt out of seawater to turn it into fresh water fit for human consumption and other uses.
  • Chlorination is a water treatment method in which a tiny amount of chlorine is added to the water to kill any harmful bacteria or germs, making it safe to drink.

Quality of Bahamian Tap Water

The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands, so water quality isn’t consistent across the board. The primary source of water is groundwater, with the cleanest and up-to-standards water found in the central, more urbanized areas like Nassau.

Rainfall is the secondary water source, primarily catering to the outer, less developed islands. In areas where there’s insufficient water, the solution is transporting water from other islands through barges or using desalination to support the consumption needs of residents and tourists.

In the less developed areas, there’s no guarantee that the tap water is safe — so it’s best to stick to bottled water instead.

Taste of Bahamian Tap Water

The tap water in the Bahamas will taste different than the water you drink at home. So, if you’re someone who’s picky about your water, bottled water is the way to go. Bottled water is more easily available, tastes better, and will not disturb your stomach. The average price for a 1.5-litre (50 fl oz) bottle of water is $2.50, so it’s reasonably affordable.

Tap Water in Bahamian Hotels, Resorts & Restaurants

If you’re staying at a resort anywhere in the country, you’re in good hands. Resorts treat their tap water with chlorine and filters, so there’s no need to worry about the water quality. But when you’re dining out or exploring, it’s safer to stick with bottled water since restaurants and other places might not treat their water the same way hotels do.

Washing Teeth and Showering With Bahamian Tap Water

The tap water in the Bahamas is treated and safe for personal hygiene, particularly in the central urban areas, resorts, and hotels. In more remote areas, it’s a smart move to use bottled water for tooth brushing and be cautious not to accidentally swallow tap water while showering.

Washing Fruit and Veggies With Bahamian Tap Water

In the majority of Bahamas’ regions, using tap water to wash fruits and veggies is perfectly safe. The tap water is usually treated and suitable for this purpose. However, if you happen to be in a more remote area, it’s a good idea to opt for bottled water when washing your produce, just to be on the safe side.

Safety Tips to Stay Healthy & Hydrated in the Bahamas

Hydrated in the Bahamas

While the water in the Bahamas is mostly harmless, the changes in mineral composition may still upset your stomach, particularly if you’re not used to it. Locals are immune to it due to life-long exposure, but building tolerance to new water can be difficult on a short vacation.

So, if you don’t want to risk it, here are a few precautions you can consider:

  • Stick to bottled water, the simplest and most obvious solution of all;
  • Ensure the cap on the bottled water is tightly closed to avoid any chance of tap water being sold to you.
  • Check the expiration date on the water bottle, plastic can degrade quickly in the hot Bahamian climate.
  • Boil tap water for at least five minutes before drinking to destroy harmful pathogens. Allow it to cool before sipping.
  • Consider purchasing moringa seeds powder, which can purify water up to 95% and eliminate up to 99% of bacteria. Use around 50 to 150 milligrams of powdered moringa seed per liter of water.

Symptoms of Waterborne Illnesses

Waterborne Illnesses

Waterborne illnesses can have a range of symptoms. Although diarrhea and vomiting are the most commonly reported ones, they can also cause other issues like skin irritation, ear problems, respiratory issues, or eye discomfort.

If you are feeling any of these symptoms, make sure to go to a hospital and seek treatment. Here’s a list of all the available hospitals in the Bahamas.

So, Is Bahamas Tap Water Safe to Drink?

In the larger urban areas of this island nation, tap water is purified and safe for daily use. But keep in mind that it might take a few days or weeks to get used to the tap water due to its mineral composition. If you’d rather not take any chances, sticking to bottled water is a smart choice.

In rural areas, it’s not always easy to verify that the drinking water is as safe as in urban tourist spots. While the authorities say it is, it’s a better idea to err on the side of caution and opt for bottled water or boiled water to eliminate the risk of waterborne illness.

In a Nutshell: Tap Water Is Overall Safe, but Bottled Water Is!

Bahamian tap water meets all the safety standards. It’s safe to drink, but here’s the scoop:

Water Quality: In urban areas like Nassau, tap water is A-okay. But in more remote places, it’s best to stick with bottled water.

Taste: Bahamian tap water might taste a bit different from what you’re used to. So if you’re picky about your water, bottled water is the way to go.

Hygiene: You can use tap water for showering and brushing your teeth, especially in hotels and resorts.

Washing Food: In most parts of the Bahamas, you can wash produce with tap water. If you’re in a more remote area, bottled water is the safe choice.

Bottled Water: Ensure the cap is tight and check the expiration date.

Purified water: Boil tap water or use moringa seeds powder.

If you ever feel unwell after drinking the water, seek medical attention at one of the local hospitals. Better safe than sorry. We wish you a wonderful trip to the Bahamas!

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *