Tap Water Safety in South Korea

Can you drink the tap water in South Korea?

In general, yes.

The US Center for Disease Control’s travel advisory confirms the safety of the tap water in South Korea (source). However, it would be best if you take special precautions toward the unregulated water sources in some areas.

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 Korea think about the tap water?

South Korea has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, though most locals and visitors drink filtered or purified water from bottles or dispensers. The practice comes from a belief that bottled water is healthier, and the fear that old pipes can contain heavy metals. Filtered or bottled water is served free in most restaurants and machines with free purified hot and cold water are available in most motels, guesthouses and shopping plaza entrances.

The most commonly searched cities in South Korea are:

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


World Health Organization South Korea Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 99 percent of South Korea have access to drinkable tap water.

World Health Organization's 2017 South Korea Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout South Korea 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

What Do People In South Korea Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of South Korea 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 Inaccessibility29%Low
Water Pollution39%Moderate
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility71%High
Water Quality61%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in South Korea

View other countries in Asia