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Is Durban Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 1:41 pm, May 25, 2021

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Durban?

Yes, tap water is 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 Durban.

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

The tap water in Durban, South Africa, is safe to drink. The government assures the public the tap water in the country is safe for human consumption. Water is life. Therefore, it is a priority for the government to ensure that citizens and tourists served with safe drinking water. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry recently stated that the country’s national standard compares well with the World Health Organisation‘s standards. It is common for Durbanites to drink water directly from the tap without any filtering devices.

Durban, South Africa
Durban, South Africa

The quality of potable water it produces consistently meets the requirements of the South African national drinking water quality standards. Umgeni Water uses conventional and advanced treatment processes that are bench-marked to the specifications of international organizations.

Domestic water supplies must conform to South African National Standards (SANS) 241 specifications, which are comparable to international drinking water quality guidelines.

Source of Water in Durban, South Africa

In Durban, tap water comes from surface water and other from groundwater. A new study, titled ‘Water Resources of South Africa 2012’ and aimed at updating the 2005 survey, got underway in April 2012. The study, being undertaken by a consortium led by consulting engineering firm SSI, seeks to quantify both the country’s surface and groundwater resources. The study will also outline minimum monitoring conditions, which the WRC says has become urgent. In light of the declining number of rain and streamflow gauges, as prevailing monitoring gaps are increasing uncertainty and undermining decision-making.

According to the 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG), established in 2008 by a consortium of business partners to contribute new insights about the ever-critical issue of water resource scarcity. The estimated demand for water in South Africa will reach 17.7-billion cubic meters in 2030. In comparison, the current supply will total only 15-billion cubic meters. And acutely restrained by low levels of highly seasonal rainfall – estimated at 50% of the global median. An inadequate number of aquifers, and a reliance on water transfers between basins and from other countries. A prime example being the LHWP, from which South Africa purchases almost 25% of its total water supply.

To deal with its water needs, South Africa is considering options other than just surface water and groundwater, including desalination. In fact, the DWA forecasts that up to 10% of the country’s urban water supply could come from desalination plants by 2030. The country’s biggest seawater desalination plant – in the seaside town of Mossel Bay, in the Western Cape – opened in November 2011. Its five-million-liter-a-day output is used entirely by synthetic fuels company PetroSA, the town’s biggest employer and the biggest user of water.

Other links:

Is Durban Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$1.06 in USD (1.5-liter)


Durban tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 27% Low
  • Water Pollution 59% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 73% High
  • Water Quality 41% Moderate

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Durban, 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

Current Weather in Durban


Some of the Local Convenience Stores in Durban

Sasol Delight Convenience Store
Sasol Bellair
  • Umbilo
  • Crescent
  • FreshStop
  • Zoop
  • CAFE 444
  • Select
  • Re-Fuel
  • Engen
  • Sasol Bellair
  • Total
  • uShaka Kwikspar
  • SPAR Express
  • Pick n Pay
  • Victoria Supermarket
  • BP
  • A H Cash & Carry
  • Usave

Estimated Price of Bottled Water

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