A Guide to Drinking Tap Water in Niue
Niue gets its water from a mix of underground pumps and rainwater collected for 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?
Fortunately, in Niue’s main accommodations, filtration is a big deal and you will be safe to drink tap water and add refreshing ice to your drinks. However, when travelling around one of the 14 villages, for example, 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 guide, you’ll be able to have a safe trip to Niue while staying hydrated!
6 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
- Ask the locals where to find filtrated water – You can find the odd filtrated drinking water station in Alofi and a few other villages. Niueans are super friendly and will be able to point you 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
- Use water purifying tablets – This method comes as little sachets or tablets and, when mixed into your water for a certain amount of time, will kill most bacteria and parasites present in it making it safe to drink
- 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.
We elaborate further on these points in the “The Best Ways to Make Sure Water is Safe to Drink” section below.
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.
Refilling Water Bottles in Niue
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. 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, the drinking water station in the Alofi Commercial Centre, or a store.
Bottled Water in Niue
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 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 (like public bathrooms)
Although most locals are generally fine to drink it, there may be higher concentrations or unfamiliar strains of bacteria, like E.coli, present in the water. It’s unlikely that visitors will have built up an immunity to particular bacterial strains, which can cause traveller’s diarrhoea. That’s why it is generally advised for visitors to treat the tap water in Niue before drinking it, even if the locals are drinking it.
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 host during check-in if the water is safe to drink.
The Best Ways to Make Water 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 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 the cheapest water purifying method out there. Note that boiling water in a kettle won’t effectively kill bacteria; water must be boiled for several minutes.
Use Water Purification Tablets
Use your own water 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 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 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, water-purifying bottles like the Lifestraw Bottle remove 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 any tap 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 can recommend it with confidence. 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 and Safety for Visiting Niue
That’s it for our guide to drinking tap water in Niue but by no means the end of our Niue advice. Check out more health and safety tips in the following articles:
- 10 Best Natural Insect Repellents for Niue
- What are the Best Sunscreens for Niue?
- Do You Need Vaccines to Travel to Niue?