Is Shanghai Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Last Update2:35 am, May 11, 2020

Can you drink tap water in Shanghai?

Shanghai, China’s tap water is not safe for drinking. Some say it depends on which part of China you were. Due to populated cities, exposure to pollution and toxic contamination is an issue. Boiling water is not an option. Toxic, lead, and heavy metals cannot be killed by simply boiling. According to the official, 85% of the water in the city’s major rivers was undrinkable in 2015. And 56.4% was inappropriate for any purpose. It is recommended to purchase fresh bottled water from convenience stores or supermarkets. Bottled water is cheaper in a large market. Famous brands include Nongfu Spring, Nestle, C’estbon, Evian, Kunlun Mountains, and Wahaha. Different kinds of bottled tea and juice are also available.

Shanghai Tap Water
Shanghai, China

The authority in the large cities declares that the tap water is drinkable/potable according to world standards like EPA and WHO. Yet, if you ask several mid to high-income families will not take the risk by trusting tap water in their premises.

Source of Water in Shanghai, China

Shanghai can get their water from surface water and groundwater. Most of Shanghai’s water originates from Qingcaosha. It is the country’s largest reservoir, resided in the Yangtze River. The new storage just started operations in 2010, displacing much of the supply of water from the Huangpu River. Shanghai Daily published that some problems were arising with water supply. Specialists noticed signs of unnecessary nutrients due to the runoff of fertilizers and sewage from the land. Wastewater discharged directly into rivers.

The storage of water before reaching your tap valve is another concern that can cause contamination. Water tanks on the premises are supposed to be disinfected by property management companies. It is advisable to clean it twice per year. And after cleansing, Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention should examine water samples.

Traveller’s Notes

Don’t drink tap water or eat ice. Bottled water is readily available. Boiled water is OK.

Current Weather in Shanghai


Some of the Local Convenience Stores in Shanghai

  • City Shop
  • Feidan
  • Haifu Convenience Store
  • Metro
  • Lawson
  • Watsons
  • Bright
  • Quik
  • Quanjia
  • Easy Joy
  • 7 eleven
  • Carrefour
  • Family Mart

Estimated Price of Bottled Water

1.5-liter ¥4.66$0.66€0.59£0.51

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