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Is Kuala Lumpur Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Do not Drink :(

LAST UPDATED: 10:37 am, May 27, 2021

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Can You Drink Tap Water in Kuala Lumpur?

No, tap water is not drinkable.

Tap Safe includes data from many publicly available sources, including the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC (Center for Disease Control), and user submitted databases, but unfortunately there's not enough data about Kuala Lumpur.

To see user submitted ratings of the water quality for Malaysia, see the "User Submitted Ratings" box on this page.

Can you drink tap water in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Technically Kuala Lumpur tap water does meet the standards set by the World Health Organization for drinking water. In fact, the Malaysian Ministry of Health has established parameters utilizing those standards set by the WHO.

Kuala Lumpur Tap Water
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

According to locals, many do not drink tap water. They use bottled water or boiled water for drinking. You may use tap water for brushing your teeth and buy generic brands of bottled water from supermarkets or convenience stores to stay hydrated.

Source of Water in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The primary water source of Malaysia is rivers, and it supplies 97% of the water needed for domestic, industrial, and agricultural use. Other sources of water include rainfall, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge.

What Causing the Contamination?

Kuala Lumpur tap water is generally safe to drink as chlorination during the treatment process would have killed any bacteria present in water. However, there were other factors to be considered.

Tap water is safer if a person’s lives near the water treatment plant and has new main water pipes. New pipes must be few years old and not be made from cast iron which can corrode over time. Piping in homes, if left unchanged, is also susceptible to corrosion. Piping might not be corroded if the house is less than 10 years old.

A prominent water expert and university professor in Kuala Lumpur is quoted as saying, “tap water is safe if there are no repairs or upgrading works by the water service provider that can pollute and contaminate the pipe water, and also if there are no leaks in the original pipes or the pipes in your house.”

Conventional water treatment cannot filter heavy metals, organic contaminants, and microbial organisms. Water near agricultural areas may carry harmful organic material from excessive pesticide or fertilizer applications. Water collected near industrial plants can cause also contain pollutants that are not eliminated during conventional water treatment.

Kuala Lumpur Tap Water

Kuala Lumpur is known for having clean and safe tap water, however, that is not the case with some of its towns nearby. I have lived in some rural communities adjacent to Kuala Lumpur for years. The majority of these people depend on borehole wells for their drinking water and there is no doubt that the tap water from these wells is pure and clean. However, there are a few people living here who are still used to getting dirty water coming out of their faucets. This problem becomes worse when one tries to get clean and pure water for cooking purposes.

What is the solution to such a problem? The answer is simple. All you have to do is invest in a quality kitchen water filter and make sure that your tap water does not lack in the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. If you do not invest in a filter for your kitchen or bathroom, you are not only risking your health, you are also risking the lives of those members of your family who like to drink the water without any care or precaution. This is especially true if the water from your pipes is coming out contaminated.

There are quite a number of water filters available in the market. They can be purchased from many leading brands at affordable rates. Once you have bought your filter, you simply have to attach it to the faucet of your kitchen or bath water source and it would start working right away. So you see, there is no need to risk your health or the lives of your loved ones to enjoy clean and safe water. Try getting yourself a water filter today.

Kuala Lumpur Tap Water Safety

Kuala Lumpur (KL) has long been regarded as one of the most livable cities in the whole of Malaysia. It is a bustling metropolis filled with exciting local traditions, skyscrapers, shopping malls and beautiful beaches that draw in thousands of tourists from all across the globe on an annual basis. Unfortunately, this paradise comes with one glaring downfall – its tap water, which is considered to be the most contaminated in the world, despite many precautions being taken by the authorities. Every year, more than a hundred people die or get sick from drinking contaminated tap water, making it a threat to your health and your family’s as well.

Since Kuala Lumpur has grown so much in recent years, so has its population, reaching nearly 20 million strong. With so many people living in such a small space, there are bound to be flaws, cracks, and other irregularities in the water systems of the city. For example, there have been rumors that the water in Kuala Lumpur is so dirty that it has even led to the death of some residents. In fact, in the last few months, three people have died from drinking contaminated tap water. With such a large number of cases of poisoning and illness due to poor tap water safety in Kuala Lumpur, it is important that everyone stick to safe drinking water methods at home, as well as doing everything they can to prevent themselves from getting sick from drinking the water.

Before you get too excited about having a good, clean water supply at home, remember that tap water in Kuala Lumpur is not always safe. You should only shower or bathe when you know that you have washed your hands thoroughly and that you have used the correct filtration method for your type of water. This way, you will be much more likely to avoid getting sick from the tap water and can enjoy your much cleaner water all throughout the year. After all, no one wants to use contaminated water, and luckily, with the high level of government regulation regarding water safety in Kuala Lumpur, you do not need to worry.

Kuala Lumpur Water Quality

Kuala Lumpur is a very large city located in the State of Sabah in Malaysia. The city has a long history and has been a trading post for people from across the Indian Ocean basin since the 13th Century. Water supplies in the region are supplied by the River Tanjung Mas and are used by all residents to make sure they have clean drinking water. There are a number of large water treatment plants, including the one at the Gold Reef Water Treatment and Research Centre.

Most of the Kuala Lumpur water comes from the drainage pipes that are placed below the roads and are connected with the septic systems in the area. There have been no major issues with the water quality so far, but that could change if the drainage pipes that are below the roads get blocked with silt and debris from vehicles and from the sea. That would affect how the water flows and gets distributed, and there could be pressure problems as well. The problem would be compounded if there were too many vehicles passing through at the same time.

Water from the Kuala Lumpur area must meet certain guidelines and has to be tested regularly, in order to ensure it is safe to drink. Water from the Kuala Lumpur basin can be found in most taps in the cities, and there is a great deal of salt in the water that makes it not recommended to be used for any purposes other than drinking. The water has to be purified before being used and is often brought from places further up in the mountains.

Relative links:

What do people in Kuala Lumpur think about the tap water?

  • Never drink tap water unless you’ve verified that it’s safe. KL’s water supply comes mostly from modern treatment plants but it’s still best to boil it before drinking.
  • Check bottled-water seals are intact at purchase.
  • Avoid ice in places that look dubious.
  • Avoid fresh juices if they have not been freshly squeezed or you suspect they may have been watered down.
  • Boiling water is the most efficient method of purifying it.
  • Iodine, the best chemical purifier, should not be used by pregnant women or those who suffer thyroid problems.


Tap water in Kuala Lumpur is heavily chlorinated and thus safe, but unfortunately the pipes that carry it may not be. Most locals boil or filter it before use; alternatively, bottled water is cheap and ubiquitous.There is no malaria in the city, but dengue fever can be a problem at times, so take precautions against mosquitoes.Between May and October, Kuala Lumpur is occasionally shrouded in dense haze from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo, which can be a health concern for asthmatics and pretty unpleasant for everybody. However, the haze comes and goes, and varies greatly from year to year: it was terrible in 2006, but non-existent in 2007, and had started again in 2008 and very clean after 2009 onward. However, in June 2013 the smog was so severe that a state of emergency was declared.

Is Kuala Lumpur Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$0.54 in USD (1.5-liter)


Kuala Lumpur tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 47% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 66% High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 53% Moderate
  • Water Quality 34% Low

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Kuala Lumpur, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


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

Traveller's Notes

  • Never drink tap water unless you've verified that it's safe. KL's water supply comes mostly from modern treatment plants but it's still best to boil it before drinking.
  • Check bottled-water seals are intact at purchase.
  • Avoid ice in places that look dubious.
  • Avoid fresh juices if they have not been freshly squeezed or you suspect they may have been watered down.
  • Boiling water is the most efficient method of purifying it.
  • Iodine, the best chemical purifier, should not be used by pregnant women or those who suffer thyroid problems.

Current Weather in Kuala Lumpur


Some of the Convenience Stores in Kuala Lumpur

myNEWS Convenience Store
  • FamilyMart
  • 7-Eleven
  • Kl Convenience Store
  • Jajan convenience store
  • 24in Convenient Store
  • Gilasco
  • 168 Store

Bottled Water Estimated Price

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