I think it was Dean Martin who said that the only water he consumed was frozen and surrounded by scotch.
That wasn't necessarily the case for American GIs in Taipei, but most of us were pretty careful when it came to drinking water. We were told that the Taipei water supply was unsafe to drink or use for cooking. Ice cubes, with or without scotch, were similarly to be avoided. If we went to a local bar or restaurant, we were told, we should order only beer.
Now if you're an American under the age of 30, you might assume that we just went to the store and brought home a case of 1/2 liter plastic bottles of drinking water. Believe it or not, the whole idea of paying actual money to buy everyday drinking water most anywhere in the United States was practically unheard of in the 1970s. Some of us still laugh at the concept, though I'll admit those little bottles, though more expensive than gasoline, are handy for hikes and such.
As part of his services, my houseboy at the hostel lugged in a huge glass bottle of drinking water -- I'd guess somewhere between five and ten gallons -- about once every month or so. I think there was a small charge every time he replaced it, but that was the only cost that I can recall.
Obviously those bottles were very heavy and weren't something you could easily pick up to fill a glass or coffee pot, so they sat in a metal rack that was hinged so you could tilt the bottle. The rack was provided with the first jug of water.
This wine bottle dispenser uses the same principle, but the water bottle racks were of course much larger, usually sat on the floor, and were nowhere near this fancy. It took a little practice to fill up a container without slopping water everywhere, but I eventually developed the right touch.
I never knowingly drank tap water while I was there, but did use it for tooth brushing after a few weeks. I had several friends who didn't bother with bottled water at all, but I was never quite that brave . . . or stupid.
I sometimes wonder if Taipei's water treatment facilities have improved much since the 1970s. I assume so.