Tap Water Safety in South Africa

Last Update10:00 pm, May 8, 2020

The estimated price of bottled water

N/A in USD (1.5-liter)

Can you drink the tap water in South Africa?

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in South Africa (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 South Africa think about the tap water?

High-quality water is widely available in South Africa and drinking from taps is fine, except in rural and drought-struck areas.

Wikitravel

Municipal tap water is usually safe to drink. In some area such as Hartebeespoort Dam, it is advisable to boil your water before drinking.
Municipal tap water is usually safe to drink throughout the country. In the Western Cape mountain water is safe, even if it has been stained brown due to vegetation. A strong risk of bilharzia exists for still-standing water.

How do People In South Africa Rate The Tap Water?

Travellers and residents of South Africa 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 35% Low
  • Water Pollution 59% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 65% High
  • Water Quality 41% Moderate

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


Check tap water safety for other countries in Africa

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