Tap Water in Bali

Is Tap Water Safe in Bali?
Well, like with all things, this depends.

For travelers to Bali, this is of course a burning question, because we need to drink water, take a shower and brush our teeth every day. And some travelers are used to drink the tap water and  use the water at home in the shower or bathroom to brush the teeth and rinse the mouth.

In General we would NOT SUGGEST to drink it, regardless of the hotel, villa or area you are staying in. Water quality varies significantly between areas and the type of accommodation you are choosing.

But let’s look into the quality of Tap Water in Bali and what to be concerned about:

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Is it safe to drink tap water in Bali?

No, we would not suggest to drink it ever.  It is generally not safe to drink tap water in Bali. The tap water in Bali is not reliably treated and MAY contain harmful bacteria and parasites. It is advised to avoid drinking tap water and to use bottled or properly filtered water instead​ .

To drink tap water might (or might not) be the main cause for the Bali Belly.

Can you rinse your mouth with Bali water?

Depends on the place you are staying at, and on the sensitivity on your “stomach”. In general t is not recommended to rinse your mouth with tap water in Bali. And iy you stay in a small hotel or private villa that takes the water from a well, then better don’t.

However, many travelers do so, and have absolutely no problem. if you want to take a cautious approach then use bottled or boiled water for rinsing your mouth to reduce the risk of infections​. If you do, at least ake sure, you don’t swallow it.

Can you brush your teeth with Bali tap water?

Same as above- While many brush their teeth with tap water, it is safer for travelers to use bottled or boiled water for brushing teeth to avoid potential health issues​, even thought the risk might not be too high in most hotels and resorts.

Can you get Bali Belly from tap water?

Yes, consuming contaminated tap water can lead to “Bali belly,” which is a common term for traveler’s diarrhea caused by ingesting harmful bacteria or parasites. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting​ Bali Belly.

Is it safe to drink water in Bali hotels?

No. But it is definitély safer to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with Bali tap water if you are stayin in one of the established hotels and resorts. Water quality in hotels can vary, and you would definitely get a sense for it, when you look at how the place you stay at is managed, maintained, and what it costs. The cheaper the establishment, the higher the risk of “lower standards”.

Some higher-end hotels provide filtered or treated water or even bottled water in the bathroom (unfortunately often plastic biottles, which add to the trash problem in Bali. So, using bottled or properly filtered water is recommended even in hotels​.

Is Boiling Water The Right Way To Drink Bali Water?

Boiling tap water is an effective method to kill MOST bacteria and parasites, making it safer to drink. However, boiling does not remove everything and not chemical contaminants. For the best safety, don#t drink boilded water, for brushing teeth and rinsing mouth should be ok.

Can I wash dishes with tap water in Bali?

Yes, you can wash dishes with tap water in Bali. However, ensure that the dishes are thoroughly dried or rinsed.

What about the ice cubes in Bali. Are Ice Cubes in Bali Safe?

1. Safety of Ice Cubes in Bali:

  • Commercial Ice Production: Most ice used in beverages at hotels, restaurants, and bars in Bali is commercially produced. Commercial ice manufacturers in Bali are typically subject to health regulations and standards, ensuring the ice is made from purified and treated water.
  • Treated Water: The water used in commercial ice production is usually filtered and treated to remove contaminants. This helps ensure the ice is safe for consumption and does not pose a health risk.
  • Food Safety Regulations: Established establishments often adhere to food safety regulations, which include the proper handling and storage of ice. Reputable places will use ice from trusted suppliers who follow hygienic practices.

2. Risks of Ice Cubes:

  • Small Vendors and Street Food: The primary risk of unsafe ice comes from smaller vendors and street food stalls that may use ice made from untreated tap water. It’s advisable to avoid consuming ice from these sources unless you are confident about the vendor’s hygiene practices.
  • Visual Inspection: One way to assess the safety of ice is to check its appearance. Clear, solid ice cubes are generally a good sign that the ice is commercially produced and made from treated water. Cloudy or irregular ice may indicate homemade ice, which could be made from untreated tap water.

3. Practical Tip:

  • Stick to Reputable Establishments: When in doubt, consume ice only at well-known restaurants, hotels, and bars. These places are more likely to use safe, commercially produced ice.

What are the main Tap Water Sources in Bali?

SURFACE WATER & GROUNDWATER (WELLS)

Surface Water:

  • Bali’s tap water in hotels and resorts primarily comes from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Major rivers like the Ayung, Petanu, and Unda, along with Lake Batur, are significant sources of water which PDMA uses. PDMA, is the state owned entity responsible for the water supply. PDAM sources water from various surface and groundwater sources, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and wells. But, not all hotels, villas, homes are connected by far.
  • Treatment Processes of PDMA: The water undergoes multiple stages of treatment, including sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection, before being distributed. However, the efficacy and thoroughness of these treatments can vary based on the infrastructure and maintenance standards of the specific PDAM facility. The treatment does not ensure that the water is “absolutely clean” and meeting all safety standards, which depends very much on the region.
  • Quality Issues: During heavy rains, water quality can be affected due to increased runoff and turbidity. PDAM uses additional filtration and treatment processes to mitigate these issues, but challenges remain, especially in rural areas.
  • Infrastructure: Aging infrastructure can lead to leaks and water losses. PDAM is continually working on upgrading and maintaining the water supply infrastructure to reduce such losses and improve efficiency.

Groundwater (Wells):

  • In some areas, and quite often in villas groundwater extracted from wells also contributes to the water supply.
  • Not many villas and even a significant number of hotels and guest houses are connected to the water grid of PDMA. This means they all pump the water out of the ground. And of course, the quality of this water depends laregely on the area. The groundwater on heavy populated areas are usually more contaminated.
  • The installation of these deep well pumps which might or might not have proper filters are, let’s say, often not matching good quality standards, So you will et sand and what not sucked through the pipe into your tap.

Rainwater Harvesting (rare):

  • In rural and traditional areas, rainwater harvesting is sometimes used to supplement water needs, which you would probably encounter during your holidays.