The Real Reason Survivor Contestants Don't Have To Boil Water Anymore

CBS's hit reality TV series "Survivor" has always been about placing a group of people in a remote location to see how they work together to win challenges for their tribe, all while having to tough it out and survive in harsh conditions. However, if you've been a fan of the series since the get-go, you may have noticed that the conditions the contestants have to deal with used to be a bit worse. While the reality show, which premiered in May of 2000 and is now in Season 46, used to require contestants to find, heat, and sanitize their water, nowadays the sight of competitors walking around and chatting with full canteens of magically clean water is pretty common. So, why doesn't the "Survivor" cast need to boil water anymore?

As it turns out, sometime before Season 23, the survivor crew started supplying the cast with water and every camp now has a well they can use to fill up their canteens any time. This change seems to have occurred for safety reasons as not having enough water and becoming severely dehydrated has caused contestants to quit in the past. No one can forget "Survivor: Africa" where half the cast got sick from drinking dirty pond water. Or "Survivor: Samoa" where a competitor Russel Swan collapsed during a challenge from dehydration.

How Survivor contestants get clean water

Because of this, it seems that the producers of this long-running TV series decided the best course of action was simply to provide contestants with water — but how? According to a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread posted by a previous member of the "Survivor" film crew, the contestants "have water they can get from a well" that is "replenished as needed." The crew member then went on to explain that the water is placed into the well directly from a cooler and doesn't even need to be boiled before consumption.

While this sounds like a great deal compared to the difficulties contestants of previous seasons went through to get potable water, it may not be all sunshine and rainbows. According to four-time contestant Tyson Apostal in an interview with Business Insider, the water in the well would get so dirty as time went on that it made him completely lose his desire to ever "drink water again."

However, access to clean drinking water doesn't necessarily mean that today's "Survivor" cast has it much better than the cast of previous seasons. In fact, medical intervention is still relatively common on the show even with access to potable water. During Season 32 "Survivor: Kaôh Rōng" in Cambodia, three contestants fainted from heat stroke and one required medical evacuation. Likely such harsh conditions are part of why Fiji is the show's preferred location, and why so many seasons of "Survivor" are filmed there.  

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