The water in Cairo is very heavily treated and chlorinated. There does not seem to be a problem of parasites and bacteria in the city water supply, but the result is not so tasty. It is probably not immediately dangerous to drink the water, but the consensus is that over time it may be unhealthy due to the high chlorination levels. (If the fading colors of our clothing are any indication of what our insides would look like, I would be concerned.) So since we moved here, we have been drinking mineral water.
First, we bought cases of large 1.5 liter bottles. Then, frustrated with all of the plastic we were consuming (even though disposed bottles are often reused by someone in the city), we upgraded to refillable 19 liter jugs which were less expensive and better for the environment.
We paid a little bit more than $2 for a bottle. At first, we operated it with a basic hand pump which never worked especially well.
Then we hit the jackpot. A friend who was leaving sold us a water cooler—office style—shown here.
This worked great—it was hot and cold
Over time, however, there is also concern about the mineral content in drinking water, also with regard to long-term cumulative effect. A few friends had installed filtration systems. We have a small shower-head filter that we to soften the water for bathing. When the plumber was here installing it, we talked about it, particularly with regard to an infant. The conversation shifted to drinking water, and he pointed out the mineral content, which was labeled on the water we were drinking. Many of the minerals are very hard for a baby to process (and possibly for an adult as well.)
So our latest, and perhaps final, move is a reverse osmosis five-stage water filtration system, connected to the faucet, which you can see here. It is quite impressive. And the water tastes great. One of the filters is visible, and you can see the color of it after a little bit more than two months of use. We are due for our first filter change in a couple weeks, so I will be interested to see what everything else looks like.