Tap Water Safety in Malaysia

Last Update9:36 pm, May 8, 2020

The estimated price of bottled water

N/A in USD (1.5-liter)

Can you drink the tap water in Malaysia?

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Malaysia (source). Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Malaysia think about the tap water?

  • Never drink tap water unless you’ve verified that it’s safe.
  • Boiling water is the most efficient method of purifying it.
  • Check bottled-water seals are intact at purchase.
  • Avoid ice in places that look dubious.
  • Avoid fresh juices if they have not been freshly squeezed or you suspect they may have been watered down.
  • Iodine, the best chemical purifier, should not be used by pregnant women or those who suffer thyroid problems.

Wikitravel

Generally, you can eat pretty much anywhere in Malaysia. Food outlets are comparatively clean - the only thing you should avoid is ice for your drinks, when you frequent the street stalls since the blocks of ice used there might not be up to your hygienic standards. In actual restaurants this is not a problem. Also you might want to avoid ordering water from stalls or the mamak restaurants as they are usually unboiled tap water.
Tap water is drinkable straight off the tap as it is treated (depending on location), but even locals boil or filter it first just to be on the safe side. When travelling it is best to stick to bottled water, which is very affordable.
Ice in drinks might be made from tap water but nowadays, most restaurants and even roadside stalls use the cylindrical variety with a hollow tube down the middle that are mass-produced at ice factories and are safer to consume.

How do People In Malaysia Rate The Tap Water?

Travellers and residents of Malaysia 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.

Tap water ratings

  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 45% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 63% High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 55% Moderate
  • Water Quality 37% Low

Reminder

Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources


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