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Jonathan Butcher of NICA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I live in a community on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua and I do not recommend drinking the water from the tap. While other comments on this site have suggested the water is "generally" safe, I think its important to consider your water source very carefully.
 
The body needs significantly more water here in Nicaragua, which means you should be drinking about double what you drink in a normal climate. Now, your body will be digesting the water differently as well since it will use it to cool off.
 
I experimented with drinking the local "aquifer" water for about a week. While I was not sick with obvious ailments one may witness in the bathroom, there was a very heavy feeling in my lower abdomen which was caused by the heavy metals that are not cleansed from the underground source.
 
The best option is too buy a reverse osmoses purifier and hook it up in your house. My boss has this system, and it is great. It is cost effective as well. I just use the large 5 gallon bottles currently, but once I move to a permanent location I will be using a reverse osmoses system as well.
Mike Cobb of ECI Development – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The water in Nicaragua is generally safe to drink, especially in Managua and other cities. Bottled water is always a good precaution. Ice in most moderate to nice restaurants is made from purified water.
Dr. Carlos Alemán of Centro de Diseño Denta (Clínica Dental) – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMost Nicaraguans drink water from the tap and do not buy bottled water. However, most people who do not live in Nicaragua and who are just visitors here do buy bottled water. In general, locals are used to the water here so we drink it straight from the tap. For those people who are coming to Nicaragua, I recommend that they buy bottled water because microorganisms could differ in different places. Some people might get sick from the microorganisms here and some might not get sick. Overall, the water in Nicaragua is very clear and clean.
 
I know some people who are not originally from here but have been living here for 6 months so they decided that it is better to start drinking the water from the tap instead of buying bottled water. It also depends on where you live. If you live in the main cities like Leon, Granada, Managua or Jinotega, then you could drink the water, because the water from these cities is safe to drink.
 
(Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Marissa Gabrielle Lolk of Jireh Dental Care – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Marissa Lolk hiking along a waterfall in Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, I do drink the tap water here in Nicaragua. My family is all-weird about it. They claim that they’ve gotten diarrhea because of the tap water but I’m going to tell you something that just happened recently. We ran out of bottled water so I just filled the tank up with water from the faucet and no one got sick! They all drank the water and nobody got diarrhea; not even a fart!
 
I hate when people come over here and say, “Oh my, I can’t have ice cubes…” That is really ridiculous. The tap water here is great. If you get diarrhea, then you get diarrhea and it is most probably just traveler’s diarrhea because your body is still adjusting but it probably is not the water unless you’re drinking out of a well. It’s not that bad. However, it doesn’t taste that amazing either. The water here tastes a bit like bleach because they put bleach in it so people will not get sick.
 
(Marissa Lolk hiking along a waterfall in Nicaragua, pictured.)
Jewel Hoff of Tierra de los Suenos – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Houseboat on Lake Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAny restaurant you go to in Nicaragua and eat something with gravy or soup or have a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, you’re drinking their water. They don’t cook with purified water. Given this, I haven’t had a problem at all, but anyone with a delicate stomach might have a problem.
 
I don’t use the water here in Nicaragua as drinking water.  I shower in it, brush my teeth in it, but I do not drink it. They have here purified water here everywhere. 
 
I had my water tested from my farm because where my farm is they have had a lot of gold mines close by for over 150 years now. I tested it for mercury and arsenic and it came out .001, while the American standard is .002
 
My water comes from a well.  Different communities have their own wells so different cities have their own wells. The water throughout Nicaragua does not come out all from one well or one location, like it does in many parts of the US.  Each area has its own well it pulls from.  The city of Matagalpa pulls its own water. I’m in a place called La Grecia and they have their own well. Then the next county has its own well.
 
(Houseboat on Lake Nicaragua, pictured.)
Immanuel Zerger of Solentiname Tours - Discover Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
We have plenty of water in Nicaragua. Lake Nicaragua is the biggest water reserve in Central America, but when you come here you should drink bottled water, which is provided by several companies, including US companies. These bottled water is safe to drink.
Darrell Bushnell – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Generally, it is safe to drink the water in Nicaragua. If you are in a rural area, it depends on where the well is and where the ground water is coming from. The water here in Granada is very drinkable. We had it tested and it is about the same as the water in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I used to live.
Vanessa Pattison of Zen Yoga Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
This is a question I get a LOT! Is the water safe to drink in Nicaragua?
 
We have lived in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for 10 years and the entire time we have been drinking Agua Pura.   Not sure how pure it is as it often tastes of plastic due to bottles sitting in the sun before they make there way to us. Regardless, we have stuck with the Agua Pura (5 gallon jugs) because we are nervous as are most North Americans to drink tap water. We have heard the warnings about the tap water leading to kidney stones and general parasites such as Giardia, which we have had many times here, likely from poor sanitation in restaurants.  
 
I guess the short answer is drink bottled water but please recycle! Or better yet if living here install a water purification system as it will be healthier, better for the planet and there will be no hassle to lug 5 gallon jugs around! Happy drinking!
Amanda Kragt of La Mariposa Spanish School & Eco-Hotel – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Farm in La Concepción, Masaya – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMost water in Nicaragua comes from aquifers, or underground freshwater lakes. This is one of the most clean and pure sources of water in the world and Nicaragua is unique in the sense that is has many aquifers!
 
So the water is pumped from the ground using wells and then distributed to neighboring populations.  If this still seems a bit iffy for you, there is always purified and filtered water accessible essentially anywhere.  Many places use clay water filters which clean 98% of bacteria in the water to make it even more safe to drink.
 
That's not to say that upon arriving to Nicaragua, your body will be used to the climate, air, food, and water right away.  Experts say it takes an average of three weeks for your body to acclimate, which speaking from experience is true.  About 60% of people get "traveler's diarrhea" which can last 3 - 5 days as their body adjusts, but that is from a combination of everything, not just the water.  Traveler's diarrhea is minor and allows you to carry on with your daily activities.  There is no sense of urgency and is not painful.
 
Over all, I have lived in Nicaragua for a year and a half and in the first month I was drinking 100% tap water with no problems here in La Concepción, Masaya.  That's not to say in other locations often near the beach, you may need to be a bit more careful about drinking the tap water.

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