Is the Water Safe to Drink in Niue?
Niue gets its water from a mix of underground pumps and rainwater collecting with treatment before delivering it through taps. The underground lens supplying most of the water available has suffered a few contaminations in the past, therefore water should be drunk with caution. So, can you drink the water in Niue?
Admittedly, in Niue’s main accommodations, filtration is a big deal and you will be safe to drink tap water and to add refreshing ice to your drinks. However, when travelling around one of the 14 villages, a bit more attention should be paid. It is possible to catch traveller’s diarrhoea (a common waterborne form of E.Coli) from drinking untreated water. But there is no need to panic, if you follow the simple tips in this article, you’ll be able to have a safe trip to Niue while staying hydrated!
5 Ways to Make Sure the Water is Safe to Drink in Niue
If you have any doubt about drinking the water, follow these tips on making sure the water is safe to drink…
- Boil the water first – boiling water for 10 minutes or longer kills bacteria and is the best way to make sure water is safe to drink
- Use a Lifestraw Bottle – it includes a filtration system that makes your water 99.9% safe to drink while also avoiding the use of disposable water bottles. Our writer team use them daily when on-the-go
- Ask the locals where to find filtrated water – Niueans are super friendly and will be able to point you out in the right direction
- Fill up your bottles at your tourist accommodation – The main accommodations in Niue provide filtrated tap water to their guests, so ask if the water is safe to drink first and then refill your bottles there before heading out
- Drink bottled water – Although not environmentally -friendly, buying bottled water from your hotel (or the local supermarkets like Swanson and Double M) is a good way to stay safe.
If you are after a few more of those tips, make sure to check our articles on 6 Ways to Make Sure the Water is Safe to Drink in Niue where we go over those tips and more in greater detail.
Is it Easy to Access Drinking Water in Niue?
It is not hard for travellers to access safe drinking water in Niue. Although the tiny island nation does not have access to any surface water, the large underground lens and the large rainwater tanks used by most accommodation providers provide plenty-enough water for travellers and locals alike.
When out exploring the local villages and the many hidden gems that the island has to offer, we suggest only drinking water that you packed for yourself so to avoid untreated water. Although more and more Niuean households now have their own carbon filtration system, safe water availability is not guaranteed. In any case, you are rarely more than a 30-45 minutes drive from your accommodation or a store, so there is never really cause for panic.
If you are into bottled water, rest assured. Bottled water is easily accessible in Niue, from your accommodation to the local supermarkets. As mentioned previously, if you would like to stay on a budget, consider buying your water supply from one of the local supermarkets as it will be much cheaper than from your accommodation provider. It is best to buy your bottled water in Alofi, as most villages will not have a store to buy water from. Make sure to dispose of your plastic waste responsibly after use (and reuse if possible).
Is the Water Treated in Niue?
Aside from a few contaminations in recent years, the water supply in Niue has mostly been considered safe by locals. For this reason, there is no island-wide treatment facility for the water in Niue. Although some public buildings like the primary school have their own UV filtration system, treated water should not be expected everywhere. It is up to each building to provide its own treatment method.
How is the Water Treated in Niue?
Since every house and business can choose if they want to treat their water and if so, how they want it to be treated, we recommend always asking if the water is treated before taking a big gulp from the tap. Most accommodation providers and restaurants will have treated tap water using one of the following methods:
- Carbon filter
- UV filters
- Chemical treatments
Where is the Water Not Treated in Niue?
It is safe to assume that every water source in Niue is untreated unless it has been specifically stated that it is treated. The water is generally not treated in the following locations:
- Niuean households
- Public areas
Although drinking water will be available in all those locations and more, it is important to note that it is likely to be untreated. Niueans are used to drinking untreated water and have a much higher tolerance for waterborne bacteria than overseas travellers. Drinking untreated groundwater or from rainwater tanks is part of their everyday life so if you see locals drinking from a water source, it does not mean that it is safe for you. The risk of Enterohemorrhagic (E.Coli) is present. Therefore, if you need to drink water that you’re unsure is safe to drink, it is recommended to use one of the five tips mentioned earlier in this article.
Is the Tap Water Safe to Drink in Niue Hotels?
In most cases, yes, it is safe to drink tap water from your accommodation. If for any reason the tap water is not safe for consumption, you will be informed by the accommodation staff upon arrival and will be given bottled water. But in case of doubt, ask your receptionist during check-in if the water is safe to drink.
The Best Ways to Make Sure Water Is Safe to Drink
Although it is highly unlikely you will run out of water when exploring Niue knowing that you are always a short drive back to your accommodation or the main town, we have prepared a few things to know so you can put that in your knowledge bank for any tropical adventure!
Boil the Water
Bringing the water to a boil for 10 minutes is probably the best-known method of purifying water. It kills parasites, bacteria and even viruses and ensures that it is fully safe to drink. Plus, it is probably the cheapest water purifying method out there.
Use Water Purification Tablets
Use your own bottle, drop a water purifying tablet and “voila”. This method has been trialled and tested for years and despite the fact that it gives a bit of a weird taste to the water, it is widely used by travellers all around the globe. If the taste is an issue for you, try a water purifying solution. Although a bit more expensive, it offers better taste and water clarity than the tablets. Price-wise, this is still going to save you tens of dollars compared to buying bottled water all trip long.
Buy a Water-Purifying Water Bottle
By far our favourite solution of them all, the water-purifying bottles like the Lifestraw bottle removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan. That means that there is no boiling necessary and that you can fill up your water bottle from most taps in Niue and know that you have a filtration system with you. Although they are not the cheapest option, once the initial purchase is done, all you have to do is to replace the filtration cartridge when it expires.
Although there are alternative brands to Lifestraw, this is just the one that the NiuePocketGuide.com team use when travelling the Pacific, so we know we can recommend it. When looking for alternatives, make sure to search for “water-purifying” and not “water-filtration” as filtration only improves the taste of the water.
For more handy things to pack for Niue, see The Complete Packing List for Niue.
More About Health, Safety and Drinking Water in Niue
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