Tap Water Safety in China

Can you drink the tap water in China?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in China (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

The most commonly searched cities in China are:

For a full list of cities in China, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization China Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 93 percent of China have access to tap water.

In 2000, undefined % of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 80% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In China, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 92% and rural availability figures at undefined %.

World Health Organization's 2017 China Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout China includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited

How Do People In China Rate The Water?

Travelers and residents of China have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility59%Moderate
Water Pollution68%High
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility41%Moderate
Water Quality32%Moderate

View our tap water report on all cities in China

View other countries in Asia