Is Cape Town Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Last Update11:25 pm, November 17, 2020

The estimated price of bottled water

$1.12 in USD (1.5-liter)

Can You Drink Tap Water in Cape Town?

Yes, tap water is drinkable.

There was no general information available in WHO data about safely managed drinking water in Cape Town . You may check the rate of travelers and residents of South Africa water quality.


When you go to see the famous Victoria Falls in Cape Town South Africa, you will be amazed at how pure and clean it is. There are many ways that you can enjoy it, but if you are worried about drinking contaminated water, you are not alone.

The problem with drinking Cape Town tap water is the fact that there are a lot of contaminants present in it. These contaminants include nitrates, bacteria, viruses and others. If you don''t know how to remove them from your water supply, you might end up drinking something more toxic than clean water!

One of the things that you have to do to get rid of contaminants in your water is to add chlorine to it. But before you add this to the water, you need to make sure that it is safe to do so. This is because chlorine can irritate your eyes, skin and throat. So if you want to have the peace of mind and safety when you take your water from Cape Town, you should definitely add this to the water that you take from it.


What do people in Cape Town think about the tap water?

Tap water is drinkable. However, at the time of research, severe drought has enforced water restrictions so buying drinking water is recommended.

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

Travelers 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 27% Low
  • Water Pollution 50% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 73% High
  • Water Quality 50% Moderate


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

Can you drink tap water in Cape Town?

The municipality of Cape Town in South Africa has some of the safest tap water in the world. They closely monitor the water quality by analyzing large numbers of water samples, as required by the South African National Standards (SANS) regulations. To ensure the excellent quality of tap water, the Scientific Services Laboratory tests almost 6000 samples of water each year. They collect Cape Town drinking water and perform tests from sampling points throughout the water system. Based on the reported results, the municipal water supply remains safe to drink.

Cape Town Tap Water
Cape Town, South Africa

During the 2019 dry season, which was harsher than it had been in years, Cape Town residents noticed a change in water quality. They reported tasting a robust earthy flavor in their tap water. After investigations were carried out by South Africa’s water experts, they reassured people that there was nothing to worry about.

The raw water supply had large amounts of geosmin. A natural organic compound that grows in the water when new rainfalls break a dry spell. The human palate is very sensitive to this chemical. It can be distinguished in the smallest concentrations, even as little as a few parts per trillion liters of water. The compound also expands during hot weather.

Source of Water in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town relies on rainwater that is collected by the Western Cape Water Supply System for most of its water. The majority (95%) of water comes from the regional, integrated surface water system which is managed by the national Department of Water and SanitationRainfed dams are a cheaper alternative to sources like groundwater, reused water, and desalinated water. Because it is more affordable, the City will continue and rely on rainfed dams for most of its water supply. Cape Town also invests in alternative sources of water to at least cover one-fourth of the City’s needs.

The drinking water in Cape Town is remarkably high quality. This is a result of a variety of treatment processes and because most of the water consumed in Cape Town is collected from unpolluted mountain catchments and aquifersCape Town water complies with the strict guidelines as specified in the South African National Standards (SANS 241:2015) for drinking water. They have won multiple Blue Drop awards from the Department of Water and Sanitation for its water quality.

The City of Cape Town has 12 treatment plants and collectively these plants provide a treatment capacity of approximately 1,600 Ml per day. Before the introduction of water treatment, Cape Town water was tea-colored because of high concentrations of plant matter. More severe problems included the build-up of sediment in the pipelines, which caused blockages, and the water’s high acidity levels, which corroded pipes and valves.

Traveler’s Notes

Tap water is drinkable. However, at the time of research, severe drought has enforced water restrictions so buying drinking water is recommended.

Current Weather in Cape Town


Some of the Local Convenience Stores in Cape Town

Pick n Pay Convenience Store
Pick n Pay
  • J&M Famous Biltong
  • Seven Penguins
  • Convenience Store
  • FreshStop at Caltex Winch Motors
  • Pick n Pay Camps Bay
  • Engen Quick Shop
  • Clyde Grocers Corner Shop
  • Parker’s Store
  • city limits
  • Woolworths Foodstop
  • Total
  • Chadash Motors BP

Estimated Price of Bottled Water


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