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Because the majority of ground water in Jakarta has been contaminated, most expatriates and well-to-do Indonesians purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking. Just because your well/tap water looks clean - that doesn't mean it is.
There is an increased need for water in the tropics; it is recommended that adults have at least 8 full glass of water daily (about 1 1/2 liters) due to the higher tropical temperatures, humidity, and the ease with with you can get overheated. If you are not used to a tropical climate, undertake serious exercise with care. Be sure you drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated. A packet of Oralit/Pharlolit stirred into a small glass of bottled water will easily replace fluids lost to sweat or extensive exposure to the sun. These packets are easy to purchase at the apotik and cost a lot less than bottled rehydration fluids.
Water Delivery Service
You can set up a delivery service for water to your residence, office or factory. Bottled water comes in single serving glasses, one or two-liter bottles and 5-gallon bottles. Try out the smaller bottles from the supermarketfirst to determine which brand you prefer. Call the agent that delivers the water and set up a regularly scheduled delivery service. Water is usually delivered once a week, accompanied by antiseptic wipes which are used to clean the openings to the bottles. Upon delivery, be sure that the plastic safety seal is still on the bottle and has not been tampered with. If it's been tampered with, do not accept delivery of that bottle.
An alternate to a delivery service is to buy 5-gallon bottles through your local grocery store. The bottles may be cleaner on the outside (less dust and dirt), though you still have to use antiseptic wipes to sanitize the opening of the bottle. Normally, you spend a little more on your first bottle since you are also paying for the bottle deposit.
Once you have empty bottles you can exchange them for a re-filled bottle and you only pay for the water, not the bottle deposit. At a Hero supermarket, you go to the store room and ask for bottled water, exchange your empty bottle, and then bring the new bottle to the cashier for payment. The cashier will ask you whether you are just paying for the contents (the water) or you are paying for the water and the bottle deposit. The cashier will usually give you antiseptic wipes, if they don't, ask for some. At Kem Chicks supermarket in Kemang, there is a water bottle station outside in front of the store, you just exchange your empty bottle for a new one and pay right there. Many neighborhoods also have a warung or small food stall that sells bottled water. You will need to trade in your empty bottle or pay a deposit for the new bottle.
extra Be cautious of bottle refilling stations though! We have heard stories of household helpers or drivers who wanted to earn some pocket money and they go to the non-potable water refilling stations with empty branded gallon bottles, and fill the bottle there. The water is of a bad quality, doesn't pass the standards for drinking water and may be contaminated with e-coli. To be certain of the quality of the water, it is better to order delivery direct from a well known bottled water supplier.
Payment for your weekly water delivery is usually made once a month to a person other than the delivery men. They will present an itemized bill, together with copies of the signed delivery receipts from the previous month.
Ask your delivery men how many weeks they'll be off for the Lebaran holidays, so you can stock up ahead of time for that 2-3 week period when you may not be receiving any water deliveries. It is also advisable to give your water delivery men a 'tip' before Lebaran. This small token for their good service will be much appreciated. An amount of Rp 5,000 to 10,000 per person is appropriate.
There are a variety of dispensers you can purchase or rent from your water supplier or purchase from a department store. Some are ceramic and have only one spigot for room temperature water. Others are electric and have two spigots - one for hot water and one for cold water. Before tipping the bottle into your dispenser, clean the bottle thoroughly, using the cleansing wipe around the top of the bottle.
Be sure to cleanse your dispenser occasionally with a diluted solution of bleach to insure that bacteria isn't building up inside. Be forewarned, if you have small children, the dispenser which has a hot water tap may pose a safety hazard for your small children.
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