How do People In Cambodia Rate The Tap Water?
Travellers and residents of Cambodia 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 53% Moderate
- Water Pollution 75% High
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 47% Moderate
- Water Quality 25% Low
Can you drink the tap water in Cambodia?
The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Cambodia (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 Cambodia think about the tap water?
The number-one rule is be careful of water and ice, although both are usually factory produced, a legacy of the French. If you don’t know for certain that the water is safe, assume the worst. Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are usually fine, but you can’t safely drink tap water. Only use water from containers with a serrated seal. Tea and coffee are generally fine, as they’re made with boiled water.
The tap water supply in Phnom Penh has undergone significant changes following a "water revolutionary" in the government, Ek Sonn Chan. Consequently in Phnom Penh it is said that you can drink the tap water without problem, although it is highly chlorinated and may be sluiced through old rusty or leaded pipes - drink at your own risk. Locals usually do not drink the tap water.
Outside of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap tap water should be assumed not to be potable. Cambodian branded water in blue plastic bottles sell for 1000 riels or less, although prices are often marked up for tourists to 50 cents or a dollar.
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
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