NEWater is the brand name given to reclaimed water produced by Singapore. Wastewater is treated and purified into potable drinking water by 4 factories islandwide.
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I had drink a lot of psychological resistance dealing with the consumption of NEWater, especially when everyone was talking about the "water made from urine".
I remember visiting the water treatment plant during a primary school trip. NEWater is made through reverse osmosis, where moisture is drawn through the nation's sewage and then disinfected. I recall the NEWater mascot called Water Wally being featured on the television variety programmes and street advertisements. Even local celebrities were spotted drinking NEWater!
Although I am fine with drinking NEWater (and I grew up fine after drinking it), I would rather consume tap water because the stigma of 'sewage water' has long been instilled in my mind.
I don’t get the squeamishness and disgust some people have over NEWater. So what if they come from waste water and so what if they are laughed by other countries? With the volatile and unpredictable relationship between Singapore’s freshwater supplier and Singapore, NEWater is a necessary measure for Singapore’s independence.
NEWater has also been proven to be cleaner that our regular tap water, considering that they are used to clean highly sensitive machinery components in industries. Taste? It’s just the overzealous imagination of detractors and the less informed.
And an additional side note - water we are drinking from the tap now contains NEWater, food for thought.
If you know it, you can't drink it.
My son got to visit the water treatment plant and brought back a bottle of NEWater. He told me about his educational trip and how innovative the process was and how safe the water was for consumption. It was good to start "brain washing" from young.
After a few days, I noticed the bottle he brought back was still on the table and was not even opened yet. I asked him why he did not drink the bottle of water. He said he had other water to drink so he had no need to drink NEWater. I realised then that the education failed somewhere. As long as you know how the water comes about, you would be resistant to drink it.
Not a fan but it's alright
Personally not a fan of NEWater because it has this taste that I can't exactly point out, but all I know is that it's not a taste I fancy. However, I'm still accepting towards drinking NEWater unlike some people who absolutely abhor NEWater. Some people dislike drinking NEWater as they feel that it is equivalent to drinking pee but I feel that this is a lousy excuse or reason.
I personally feel that Singapore has taken an innovation approach through NEWater and that the water has already been filtered to remove impurities that NEWater no longer equals pee. So although the taste of NEWater is not to my liking, I would still drink it if i had to and wouldn't consider that as drinking pee.
Its Water...but psychologically, you know you are drinking pee.
I have drunk NEWater before. There is no weird taste that I can discern. Its just water.
And its a project I got to give PUB credit for. Certainly an innovative way to recycle water and improve out water efficiency. After all, if you think about it, all water is recycled naturally anyway. PUB is just speeding up the process with NEWater.
Having said all that, your mind still tells you that you are drinking pee.
Perhaps PUB should have just kept the project classified and we would all be none the wiser. Although you can just imagine the backlash once it leaks out (pun intended).
Bad taste? What bad taste?
To date, I have lost count of the number of bottles of NEWater I had drunk. I think it tastes like any other water I had drunk. It tastes better than even some of the expensive bottled water sold at supermarkets.
I think the issue most people have is where the water came from or rather had gone through. Here is a lesson in life: squeamishness will kill you one fine day by preventing from ingesting something that will keep you alive.
I think NEWater is ingenious. It's probably the one thing PUB got absolutely right.
Sorry, I just can't stand the taste.
I know how we ought to be eco-friendly, to help protect the environment by conserving one of the world's most limited resources-water. However, as much as I would love to do that, I cannot tolerate the taste of NEWater. I remember my uncle coming over to my place one day and gave me a few cartons of NEWater to try out. I found it rather salty and unpalatable. I even felt like I was drinking unfiltered water from the drain. How was I possibly going to finish all the cartons of NEWater? I would probably take years to do.
I had no choice but to give them away. Most of my friends also feel this way and this possibly explains why NEWater has yet to gain popularity in Singapore as of late. Maybe the best thing for me is just to do my part for the country and conserve as much water as I can.
Stamp of approval
I really support the movement of NEWater.
I think it's an innovative and self-sufficient way to keep us going. The origin of the water does disgust many, but I feel perfectly at ease with it. Water is a natural resource that has been recycled by nature over millenniums. At least we now know that the government is really prepared and putting in a lot of effort to get Singapore on her feet and being independent.
NEWater is also interesting because coming to acceptance with it was a struggle for the masses and to come together and accept a new and different, seemingly scary and dubious new way of life is heartwarming for me. I don't mind the slightly offputting smell that it has because it is simply way too clean - and some mineral waters also taste and smell like NEWater. So I am not worried about that at all. Kudos to Singapore for innovation and change.
Despite acknowledging Singapore's efforts to maintain self-sufficiency, I would still avoid NEWater as far as possible.
NEWater is waste water collected from Singapore's water bodies. It is then put through many purification treatments, including ultra-violet treatment to kill impurities.
Although NEWater is said to be safe as it meets high health standards, NEWater has an unnatural taste of water which puts me off drinking it. I cannot decide whether it is a good or bad smell, but NEWater also has an unfamiliar smell unlike natural drinking water.
Having said all that, I cannot deny that when the time arrives for Singaporeans to drink it, I will. What else are our lives dependent on once the water contract with M'sia ends in 2061, if not NEWater?