Is the tap water safe to drink in Bangkok

The Bangkok Metropolitan Waterworks Authority claims that the tap water in Bangkok is safe to drink and meets the standards set by the World Heal Organization and even though the locals do not recommended drinking tap water I’ve drunk it on occasion and have never gotten sick from it. However with the abundance of inexpensive bottled water options there is no reason to risk illness by drinking the tap water.

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The easiest place to buy bottled water is from any local 7-11 convenience store. A large 6L (1.5 Gallon) bottle costs around 40 Baht ($1.25). The downside to buying these large bottles is having to carry them back to your home.

Many apartment buildings in Bangkok will have an onsite water filtration system. They are very inexpensive and a 6L bottle can be filled for around 10 – 15 Baht. Some high end luxury apartments and hotels will have a built in filtration system and they will usually have a small card by the sink letting you know if it’s safe to drink the water.

Another popular option of many Bangkok residents is to use a water delivery service such as Sprinkle Drinking Water. Sprinkle offers a number of different packages depending on your water consumption needs. Many of my friends use Sprinkle and I’ve only heard good things about their delivery service.

Photo: marcelometal

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  • Nice summary of the options. Just wanted to mention that I’m living in a serviced apartment down Sukhumvit 22, and there are 2 sets of machines nearby that only charge 5 baht to fill those 6-liter things back up. It’s a great deal, so maybe the ones inside apartment buildings cost more?

    • I’ve seen the prices vary all over town so I think it’s more to do with who sets the pricing on the machine. 5 baht is pretty goo tho.

  • Robonstage

    My concern is this: who makes sure that these machines are functioning properly, and who makes sure the filters are changed regularly? Personally, I use them, but I do wonder how safe they are.

    • It’s a good point and something I thought about as well. This being Thailand I highly doubt anyone is maintaining these machines. My suggestion would be to use Sparkles Delivery instead.

  • Jeff K

    One downside of always buying bottled water is you’re wrecking the environment. Bangkok water is pretty safe but the problem here is the same as you’d have at any river delta: all the heavy metals from upstream tend to concentrate at the delta. For this reason I filter my home water and also boil it. If you want to get fancy about killing bacteria you could get a UV filter.

    The machines at apartments or on the street are (normally) reverse osmosis filters. If they’re up to date they’re effective, so look for a newer machine (or find out who, if anyone, maintains the one near you).