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Getting ready for my first stay in Ajijic. I have read that one should be careful when showering not to get water in his mouth. It got me wondering about a few things, and I am not a germ-a-phobe:

1) If you wash hands with soap and tap water, are the hands really clean.

2) When showering to you need to be concerned about getting water in your eyes?

3) Do you use tap water for washing dishes, if not what precautions do you take?

I realize this may seem like silly questions to some, but I'd appreciate any suggestions, and I will not be offended by anyone wanting to poke fun.

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Yes !  Because they didnt wash their hands !

More than bacteria my concern for Lake Chapala would be the incredibly high and dangerous amounts of Mercury! Dont forget the term" The Mad Hatter" came from the FACT that the hat makers all went MAD

You're responding to a 6 year old thread. Best to start a new one.

A little bit of water is not going to hurt... in fact, may make you stronger. Of course, it depends where the water comes from.

1. Yes, really clean; we're talking about bacteria that you would worry would harm your gut, not your skin.

2. No, this isn't like water that has creepy, pustulating disease floating in it.

3. Just wash the dishes. After the dishes dry off, any "problem" is gone.

Look, I live in Riberas where the water is supposedly really nasty, and I brush my teeth with tap water every day. I do not drink it, however. And I use tap water to steam my vegetables.

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I disagree, most homes do not have filter systems.

We brush with tap.

We shower in tap.

We wash our dishes with tap but in the rince water just add a couple of drops of bleach to sanitize.

Also more importantly than the water make sure you soak your fruit & veggies with either bleach or a soaking solution.

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Every area has some local bacterias that may be different from what your system is used to so you may have a slight reation but as a rule the water here is clean if your tank on the roof or underground water cistern is cleaned on a regular basis.Some houses have filters.

I do not have an filter and have no problems here. I do wash and disinfect the fruit and vegies that I will eat raw. Just rinse the ones you cook, the boiling water or steanm will sanitize them.

I do not pay a lot of attention wether I swallow r do not water in the shower and wah my teeth with bottle water. If you are here on a temporary basis you probably do not want to ruin your trip but if you are moving here it is a question of your body getting used to the local water.

The funny thing is that we did not get sick for the first 2 years here then got sickl many times over 6 or 7 years and now have not gotten sick over two years..who nows why..I got sick when I moved to the States from France...

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The quality of our water supply in Ajijic has improved noticeably. You can now smell chlorine disinfectant in the incoming tap water. We still treat it with double filtration, double UV and softening but it is really much better when it gets to us than it was 5 years ago. And it is on almost all the time now whereas previously it was off at least half a day.

The latter point is important as when there is no pressure in the lines they are open to infiltration from outside of dirty water.

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bmh makes a good point: if you are here for a short visit, be more careful. Your stomach gets used to the water in a short time, but visitors can have a difficult first few days. I know when I go back to Canada, the water causes me to have a rough couple of days, because I am used to the water here.

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Everybody is different. I have a cousin who lived here for a while. He got sick over and over and over while I ate at the same places and same food and was never ill. He had cancer and was fighting it and this place turned out not to be so good for him. Me I got sick a couple of times when I moved here and nothing since. I agree about most people getting use to it BUT I will point out as Mainecoon did that the water pressure up north is pretty constant so nothing can get INTO the pipes. In Mexico when the pressure is zero and it is sometimes, ground water can leak back into the pipe so that's why I use filters and UV light always on my water. Remember also we still have many working septic systems on houses not hooked up to the sewer. OK maybe I am paranoid I can accept that but I think my facts are pretty strong arguments for filters and UV lights.

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A lot of good points have been made in response to the OP's question. An important point is that any host (the swallower) can be overwhelmed by a large enough population of foreign (to-him/her) bacteria (benign or disease causing) in food or water. If someone has a weakened immune system or simply hasn't traveled much outside their everyday environment, even non-pathogenic organisms in another state or another country can upset the GI system. Anyone who has had relatives from other countries visit in the US or Canada knows that GI upsets are not confined to visitors of Mexico.

When traveling, I don't know the condition of the pipes and the purification system, so I brush my teeth with bottled water and keep my mouth closed in the shower. Here at home, I know the condition of our in-house water supply system and we all have vigorous immune systems, so I have no qualms whatsoever and wash my fruits and vegetables without sanitizers. But, someone with a challenged immune system might well be wiser to use the water sanitizer.

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Just a little bit of simple clarification for the original poster. Fiber filters do nothing but remove particulate matter, i.e. sand etc. Charcoal or activated carbon filters will remove some organic compounds that can cause odors. An RO system can further reduce the level of some other chemicals and salts from artesian well water or softenes. However none of these treatments do anything to reduce the bacterial content of the water. A UV system will not kill the bacteria but will inhibit it's ability to multiply and make you seriously ill. We have both fiber and charcoal filters, a UV sterilization bulb, and an RO system with a dedicated faucet. We drink and cook with all the water and the water from the RO system even tastes great! Neither we nor our guests have ever had a problem.

I'll will also add this and I mean it kindly. If you are even a little bit like Howard Hughes this may not be the place for you.

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A friend spent six months here and had the runs almost every day. Once he switched tequila brands, the problem went away.

EDIT: Seriously. We can only figure it was the water used in that particular brand.

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most homes have 25 micron filters on the water system, you are safe.

just make filter is changed regulary

Where did you come up with this statistic? I guarantee you that most homes in the area do NOT have water filters, only gringo homes have pressure systems and water filters. I don't know of more than a handful of (upper-class) Mexicans who have filtered water and pressure systems. Maybe 5 to 7 percent of homes have filtered water Lakeside, certainly not more. Are you making assumptions about where someone visiting here might automatically stay? If so, you are doing a disservice to the OP. He/she could stay for a lot less money in a home without purified water and be happy as could be. (I am now seeing that a lot of other people spoke up about this before me, but I'll post this response anyway.) Good luck and don't worry about the water.
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I have a filter on my tinaco, and have had same at all houses that did not have pressure/filtration systems. In some cases, such as in Riberas, the water can be sandy enough that the filter gets blocked and requires regular cleaning/changing.

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A friend spent six months here and had the runs almost every day. Once he switched tequila brands, the problem went away.

EDIT: Seriously. We can only figure it was the water used in that particular brand.

The alcohol in tequila will not allow bacteria to live.

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Just a little bit of simple clarification for the original poster. Fiber filters do nothing but remove particulate matter, i.e. sand etc. Charcoal or activated carbon filters will remove some organic compounds that can cause odors. An RO system can further reduce the level of some other chemicals and salts from artesian well water or softenes. However none of these treatments do anything to reduce the bacterial content of the water. A UV system will not kill the bacteria but will inhibit it's ability to multiply and make you seriously ill. We have both fiber and charcoal filters, a UV sterilization bulb, and an RO system with a dedicated faucet. We drink and cook with all the water and the water from the RO system even tastes great! Neither we nor our guests have ever had a problem.

I'll will also add this and I mean it kindly. If you are even a little bit like Howard Hughes this may not be the place for you.

Does the RO water taste terrible? In Santa Barbara they use nukes and RO to desal the ocean water. It tasted terrible. We added mineral water so we could drink it. I use fiber/carbon/UV but I don't want to ruin the

taste. I did take a sample of Ajijic water up north to my friends chemical lab and he gave it very high rating

for quality and taste. I think the carbon filter does more than just clean up odors or we have pretty good water in the village.

Z

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The alcohol in tequila will not allow bacteria to live.

That would make sense, except my story is true.

"But Shigella bacteria, which cause dysentery and were found in a study to be responsible for 15 percent of traveler's afflictions in Mexico, are much more potent. Studies have shown that as few as 200 of the microscopic Shigella organisms are capable of making a person acutely ill. Far more than that can survive in ice; viable Shigella bacteria have been recovered from ice that had been frozen solid for two months. For that matter, hazardous numbers of this hardy microbe can survive a bath in straight tequila."

Any ice in our house was triple-filtered, so who knows? In any case, the problem went away when he switched tequila... maybe it was something in the brand of tequila.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/02/science/even-frozen-and-dunked-in-alcohol-lurking-bacteria-menace-travelers.html

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That would make sense, except my story is true.

"But Shigella bacteria, which cause dysentery and were found in a study to be responsible for 15 percent of traveler's afflictions in Mexico, are much more potent. Studies have shown that as few as 200 of the microscopic Shigella organisms are capable of making a person acutely ill. Far more than that can survive in ice; viable Shigella bacteria have been recovered from ice that had been frozen solid for two months. For that matter, hazardous numbers of this hardy microbe can survive a bath in straight tequila."

Any ice in our house was triple-filtered, so who knows? In any case, the problem went away when he switched tequila... maybe it was something in the brand of tequila.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/02/science/even-frozen-and-dunked-in-alcohol-lurking-bacteria-menace-travelers.html

That would make sense, except my story is true.

"But Shigella bacteria, which cause dysentery and were found in a study to be responsible for 15 percent of traveler's afflictions in Mexico, are much more potent. Studies have shown that as few as 200 of the microscopic Shigella organisms are capable of making a person acutely ill. Far more than that can survive in ice; viable Shigella bacteria have been recovered from ice that had been frozen solid for two months. For that matter, hazardous numbers of this hardy microbe can survive a bath in straight tequila."

Any ice in our house was triple-filtered, so who knows? In any case, the problem went away when he switched tequila... maybe it was something in the brand of tequila.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/07/02/science/even-frozen-and-dunked-in-alcohol-lurking-bacteria-menace-travelers.html

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