Yes, it is safe to drink the water in Panama. We live in Panama City and the water here comes from the Gatun Lake and the Chagres River. We drink water right out of the tap just like anyone else. Whenever we go back to the States and drink water there, the first thing that comes to my mind is "chemicals." The water there tastes like chemicals, especially water in the state of California. All I can think of is petroleum when I drink water there, whereas here in Panama, the water from the tap tastes like it came from the Niagara Falls.
(The picture is of Panamanians in the "interior" drinking fresh, safe water.)
The answer to the question about the safety of the drinking water in Panama is not a resounding YES. While the quality of the water is SAFER than in many other LATAM countries, the water in Panama is heavily chlorinated. In some areas it has a discernable mineral content and in other areas the water color reflects the age of the water pipes.... Another problem is that when water supply is halted, or when pressure is low, there are no assurances that the quality has ben maintained.
The main challenge faced by people who really care about what they ingest is that there is a lack of transparency about the natural quality/mineral content and additives what actually goes in to the water.
The key concern of the authorities is POTABLE WATER and ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION. When the considerations are this rudimentary, it is HIGHLY ADVISE ABLE to use home filters for the main line, or in kitchen and shower. PUR makes inexpensive faucet and shower filters with a snap on mechanism that is easy to install. It is available in Home Depot in the USA but not in Panama. If you buy it in the USA, be sure to purchase several replacement filters.
On a positive note, many people claim that they drink tap water and it is "just fine".
I hope that the answer helps.
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