The estimated price of bottled water
NA in USD (1.5-liter)
Tap water ratings
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility
- Water Pollution
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility
- Water Quality
Can you drink the tap water in Sri Lanka?
The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Sri Lanka (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 Sri Lanka think about the tap water?
Tap water is not safe to drink. Use bottled or filtered water; for the former, look for the small round ‘SLSI’ logo, which shows the water has been tested by the government’s Sri Lanka Standards Institution (the majority of local brands).
Most locals drink tap water, but the governments travel website states that it is not safe. Should you choose to drink bottled water (1.5 litre for 60-70 LKR in March 2012) please make sure (essentially) that the Health Ministry registration number or SLS (Sri Lanka Standard Institute) label is present. Some bottles are refilled with tap water and then sold again. Also in some parts of the country you'll find hard water due to the high presence of lime in the soil.Fresh milk, due to the climate, spoils easily, and so is often very expensive. Powdered milk, however, is safe and is often substituted.
Visitors should avoid drinking water from the tap. It is best to stick to bottled water for both drinking and teeth brushing. Leafy, raw vegetables and salads should also be avoided, as they are washed with tap water.
What Do People In Sri Lanka Think About The Tap Water?
Travelers and residents of Sri Lanka 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.
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.