Tap Water, Saint Petersburg
Most travellers are aware that water is often not safe in many places. St Petersburg is REKNOWN for its bad water and has hevay metals, impurities galore...the worst of which is Giardia.
Giardiasis [gee-are-DI-uh-sis] is a parasitic infection of the small intestine.
People get giardiasis when they swallow water or food contaminated with stool from an infected person or animal. People also get giardiasis from hand-to-mouth contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
the folklore is that boiled water or foods cooked by boiled water is safe. NO IT IS NOT!People get giardiasis by swallowing Giardia cysts, the infectious stage of the parasite. The cysts are not always killed by boiling.
Rosinka(phoenetic) water is commercially available and reputed to be safe but I would even boil that.
Water for St. Petersburg comes from Lake Ladoga and may contain some germs.
Boil water to drink in a tea kettle or buy bottled water.
If you are sensitive to water problems, use bottled water to brush your teeth and wash your food.
Most locals boil their drinking water, but use the tap water for cooking and washing.
I don't know what the real danger is from the water supply here but I'm accustomed to drinking bottled water anytime I am away from the US or Western Europe.
Bottled water can be bought at grocery stores, from the many street kiosks or restaurants. It's just not worth the chance of picking something up from the small cost of bottled water.
This is Lake Ladoga where the drinking water for St. Petersburg comes from.
A truck is out in the lake loading a jet ski.
No water in St. Petersburg should be drunk without boiling. And there often are levels of metals such as lead that make it wise to consider bottled water for extended stays.
People with sensitive health are recommended to sue bottled water for brushing teeth and preparing food.
There is a proposal to create a national park at the lake.
Please NEVER-EVER-WHATSOEVER drink tap water while in Russia. The main ground is that you don't have a degree on Chemistry and even if you do, I'm sure you don't have your pocket hot lab when on the move in Russia. So please-please-please have fun discovering new chemical elements when you are back to home
We were told not to drink the water or get it anywhere near our mouths. The hostel had signs telling guests to use bottled water for brushing teeth and to carefully shower....it was such a hassle but after hearing so many horror stories about travellers in the hospitals, we didn't want to take the chance...hmm...the hostel conveniently sold bottled water, so that was good..
Generlly speaking, my hair turned reddishcopper due to the impurities of water. We, the students in Helsinki, had been warned by others not to drink the water because of the giarrdia. We didn't, unless we were able to boil it first.
Yet those who came from the UK a little later, they were carrying purifying tablets and seemed to be ok...
I drank tap water and used it for brushing my teeth, etc. throughout June 2005 and I never got sick. None of the other students I was with got sick either. The giardia must be gone. Bottled water is definitely going to be safe, but I wouldn't worry so much about the tap water.
Do NOT drink the water straight from the tap. Go to a local store and get bottled water. Ask for 'cheestaya vahdah', literally 'clean water' or 'pure water', to make sure you don't wind up with carbonated water. The water is safe for everything else - bathing, showering, etc., but don't drink it.
Water : the quality of tap water varies widely in Russia. When I was there the colour of the hot water especially was not quite as transparent as one would like, in fact it was quite brown and hard (as far as trying to get a lather to wash my hair). I was using bottled water to drink and brush my teeth but I am told that the quality of water there is now very good.
Please be careful with the St.Petersburg water!! It is very dangerous to drink water from tabs. There are heavy metals and other dangerous poisonous contents in the water. The reaction occur a few weeks later and cannot be treated with medicine... When they occur you often do not know anymore where they come from.
We even brushed our teeth with water out of bottles! Even in hotels there is the danger.
DONT drink the local water in St. Petersberg. Mossies can be a nuisance but dont carry malaria. Always carry your documents, but the police here are in no way as bad as Moscow coppers for hassling tourists. These sand aliens though, were no problem.
I've seen a lot of comments on other's pages on water conditions in Russia in general and in St. Pete in particular. Majority warn that tap water is awful, undrinkable, etc. Well, I can't talk for everyone coming to St. Pete but my experinces were harmless to my health. Noone persuades you into actually DRINKING tap water but I think it's safe to brush your teeth using it.
And bear in mind that the same tap water is used in preparation of food in every St. Pete restaurant and eating place, thus avoiding any contact with local water don't forget to take food from your home country, otherwise you'll die from hunger... :))))
Don't drink the water - it will make you very sick! Drink only bottled water... and this means for brushing your teeth too!
Use only marked 'official' taxis - agree on a price for your trip before you get in.