Sometimes (like every day) I feel naive, having grown up in an overly sterile environment compared to the, shall we say, "laissez-faire hygiene" of China. Case in point: Over the weekend, cutting some vegetables, a friend opened a nice gash on her finger. She asked for a bandaid, and I said, "Have you washed the cut? You need to wash the cut first." She said no, just a bandaid. I told her it could get infected if she didn't wash it. She said if you wash it with this water, you could get sick and die. Oh. Point taken.
On the other hand, people living in Shanghai believe the water has enough chemicals that it's okay to drink. Nice to know that you won't get bacterial dysentery, but your kids might have 14 fingers and a tail.