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Tokyo Tap Water

At the invitation of Yutaka, a work colleague, one day Fabio finds himself enjoying a trek in the mountains around Okutama. Along the way, he sits down to take a short break in the shade of a tree. While doing so, he quenches his thirst.

Tokyo Tap Water

Fabio

This water tastes great! It almost feels like it is permeating every nook and cranny of my body.

Yutaka

That is because you’ve worked up quite a sweat. By the way, do you always drink mineral water?

Fabio

Yes, even when I was back in San Paolo, I always used to buy mineral water and drink it. I have continued to do so since coming to Japan. You’re not drinking mineral water?

Yutaka

No, the water I’m drinking now is straight from a tap. I brought it with me from home.

Fabio

Really! You can drink Tokyo’s water straight from the tap without doing anything to it?

Yutaka

Yes, Tokyo’s tap water is some of the safest in the world. Why not try it for yourself? Don’t be afraid, it has a reputation for tasting good.

Fabio

I see what you mean. Its taste doesn’t lose out to mineral water either.

Yutaka

Where we are now in Okutama’s forests makes up part of the catchment area for Tokyo’s water supply. For more than a century, the Bureau of Waterworks of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has managed a huge area of forest around the headwaters of the Tamagawa River.

Fabio

Each drop of rain that falls in the forests gathers together and becomes a river. The water then embarks on a long journey that ends up at a tap. As such, to ensure that the water that is delivered is safe, it is extremely important that the forests are suitably-managed, and that steps are taken to protect the catchment areas.

Yutaka

That is correct. As to why Tokyo’s tap water is both safe and delicious, the secret also lies in the technologies that are used to clean it. In addition to the water-purification processes that take place continuously at the filtration plants run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, “advanced water-purification” techniques that can remove the odors which make water taste bad have also been introduced.

Fabio

That sounds amazing.

Yutaka

Speaking of the past, due to a decline in water quality that was caused by the rapid industrialization and urbanization of Tokyo, there was a period when it was said that the city’s tap water tasted so bad that people shouldn’t drink it. However, Tokyo’s tap water underwent a rebirth once the “advanced water-purification” techniques that I just mentioned were fully-developed.

The two friends start on their way again while continuing their conversation.

Fabio

In preparing for a disaster, isn’t it said that we should arrange to have three days’ worth of drinking water which amounts to three liters per person per day? I’ve bought water in PET bottles and set it aside for just such an event. What about you? How have you prepared?

Yutaka

I’ve laid aside a supply of tap water.

Fabio

But I have the impression that the quality of water that is laid aside like that declines rather quickly…

Yutaka

If you have tap water at room temperature and away from direct sunlight, it can be stored for three days. If you place it in the fridge, it will still be okay after 10 days. However, I am talking about water that has not been put through a purifier or undergone boiling. If you subject it to either of those processes, the chlorine that has been placed in it for sterilization purposes will disappear.

Fabio

I see. I understand your point.

Yutaka

Additionally, to the extent that is feasible, you should not allow tap water that is stored to have contact with air. Thus, it is better if you fill a container to the brim and then screw on the lid.

Fabio

By the way, what should we do if we require more water than we have set aside but nevertheless regular water supplies are still disrupted?

Yutaka

Under such circumstances, the best approach would be to fill up from an “Emergency Water Supply Station.” You could do that by carrying either a polyurethane tank or some PET bottles with you. The Bureau of Waterworks of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has established Emergency Water Supply Stations at more than 200 locations throughout the city. To express that differently, there is roughly one such facility within a two-kilometer radius from anywhere in Tokyo.

Fabio

Hearing that puts my mind at ease. I think I will make a point of quickly checking where the closest Emergency Water Supply Stations are in relation to my home and the company where we work!
■Bureau of Waterworks, Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Remember this! The location of your closest Emergency Water Supply stations (Water Supply Points)
https://www.waterworks.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/life/shinsai/ichiran.html