Layer 1

Is Ho Chi Minh City Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Do not Drink :(

LAST UPDATED: 5:58 pm, December 28, 2021

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Ho Chi Minh City?

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 Ho Chi Minh City.

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

The Ministry of Health proved that the content of chlorine, broadly used to purify water as a disinfectant and bleaching agent, fails to meet required standards.

Chlorine concentration was seen exceeding the maximum level in areas near the reservoirs of Saigon Water Supply Corporation (SAWACO) and being under the minimum rate in other areas far from the lakes, according to the results of the check.

In some areas, especially apartments, the chlorine content was nearly zero, as measured during the check sent out by the Department of Health and Environment Management under the ministry.

Local suggested boiling the water before use or drinking. Or you may also consider bottled water as a precaution to some who have a sensitive stomach.

Ho Chi Minh City Tap Water

The tap water you get in the City of Ho Chi Minh City is not safe for consumption. The water that reaches the City of Ho Chi Minh City has been found to contain high levels of pesticides and contaminants. The tap water can also contain radioactive elements. You can imagine the damage that this is doing to the people who live in the City of Ho Chi Minh City. If you want a safe water supply, you need to install a treatment system.

Before the French invented the distillation process, the City of Ho Chi Minh City was using the technique. The distiller was developed because the water in the City of Ho Chi Minh City did not have the clean taste that it once did before. This old tap water had a stench and tasted terrible. Many people from France moved into the City of Ho Chi Minh City and invented using distilled water.

If you are an American citizen, then the chances are excellent that you will be ingesting traces of lead, chlorine, and other chemicals daily. The City of Ho Chi Minh City is trying to help Americans understand the dangerous pollution levels that their tap water is producing. They are trying to educate the American public by putting warning labels on various products. If you are an American citizen and are concerned about the water you are drinking, you should find out what measures the City of Ho Chi Minh City is taking.

Ho Chi Minh City Water Supply

Ho Chi Minh City’s city water supply is treated before it goes into the taps of the people and then collected afterward. If you have ever seen the large water tanks used for this purpose, you will know exactly what a massive undertaking is. The collection of the water is a daily task, often carried out by teams of men.

In some city areas, the supply is treated and sent to the wastewater treatment plant on the city’s outskirts. Here the water is filtered and disinfected before being sent on to the municipal wastewater plant for disposal. There is also the option of using the city’s own sewage water system, which is treated before being distributed to homes and businesses. Of course, the amount of water coming through the tap is limited, but it is worth trying as it does tend to be better than the treated and untreated water from the plant. There is a considerable amount of pollution in the city itself from factories, so try to use some filtering to ensure your water is clean before drinking it!

One of the more popular recycling methods used water in the city is through “reuse” schemes. Water that has been used for toilets, dishes, and showers can be collected and used again. This water is then taken to the “recycle” plant, used again to generate electricity. In some cases, the water can be sold back to the city at a profit, but this is the case with only a tiny proportion of its water consumption. The rest of the water is used to supply our homes with our city water supply!

 Ho Chi Minh Tap Water
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Drinking Water

There has been some talk in the Vietnamese circles about the Voi Ho Chi Minh City drinking water contamination. But this is only a rumor as nothing yet has been found. The story goes that the former manager of a local power station ran some water tests from the city’s main water pipe and discovered low levels of pharmaceuticals. The tests came back after the head of the power company was questioned in the local town hall. No further tests have been done.

One of the most prominent figures in Vietnam, Bo Thanh Nha, is well known for hisanti-VC masquerading as an environmentalist. Recently he made some waves when he was arrested for disturbing the peace and interfering with scientists conducting a study on the toxicity of cadmium. He frequently visited the Vietnamese Environment Agency (VIEA) offices and other similar agencies, where he would disrupt work, suggest that he might be involved in some eco-extortion. VIEA itself is being investigated for suppressing the study. Whether this is true or not, one thing is for sure – Bo Thanh Nha has a knack for controversy.

For some reason, people always tend to believe that the better known the politician is, the more credible he is. This has often been the case with Bo Thanh Nha too. Whatever the case may be, one thing is sure – whatever Bo Thanh Nha does or says, we cannot ignore his anti-VC campaign. It is something that has got the attention of the general public.

Source of Water in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Currently, around 93 percent of the drinking water in Ho Chi Minh City originates from two treatment plants on the Dong Nai River and Saigon River, while the remaining 7 percent comes from groundwater reservoirs polluted by seawater intrusion and chemical contamination.

In the city, they have two primary treatment plants the Hoc Mon District and Thu Duc District. In the outer lying regions have several smaller plants that treated their water. Reservoirs treated the water by sedimentation, filtration, and chlorine disinfectant.

Due to many sources of pollution in the river courses and underground sources, the water quality is extremely degraded. Authorities have initiated international water companies to invest in the commercial development of water supply infrastructure.

Ho Chi Minh City Bottled Water

Ho Chi Minh City bottled water has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. This tiny Vietnamese town lies about an hour from Hanoi’s capital and boasts a thriving economy that pulls in many foreign investment dollars. In recent years, a steady flow of tourists’ boatloads has started flocking to Ho Chi Minh City in large numbers. It is little wonder that Vietnamese locals were quick to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity to tap into the bottled water market available to them for so long. Unfortunately, for these hard-working Vietnamese people, the once exclusive market for Ho Chi Minh City bottled water has now been opened to all who want it.

It seems that the once exclusive market for Ho Chi Minh City bottled water is now open to anyone willing to enter the market. While the water might not be relatively as clean as you would like, it may be a lot safer than most. That being said, if you are traveling with your family and you plan on staying at one of the many cheap Ho Chi Minh City hotels, make sure to stock up on some bottled water before you leave. The water in Vietnam can be reliably potable, but even clean water can be hazardous to your health. If you are traveling with children (or you are planning on having children), you should look into getting bottled water well ahead of time so that you don’t end up stranded with anything to drink when you get back home.

Of course, if you can get some good, clean water on your trip, there are plenty of restaurants and other businesses to provide it to you. Most restaurants in Vietnam are relatively inexpensive compared to the food in many other countries. You can also usually find bottled water in Vietnamese coffee shops. Finally, you should also be able to find some in the many duty-free stores. Most of these stores will sell Ho Chi Minh City bottled water either for a lower price or for free with a special coupon.

Ho Chi Minh City Water Treatment Plants

The Ho Chi Minh City water treatment plant, is located on a flat sandy strip just off the road to Trong Ngu’s International Airport. For a very long time, I’ve been concerned about the water around here. The water gets so low in quality that swimming in some parts is dangerous. I recently heard from a friend in Vietnam that they are using advanced filtration systems that can clean the water of almost 90% of toxins before making it to our shores. You might want to check out the information he provided.

From what I’ve been told, Vietnam is becoming a considerable exporter of seafood. Of course, their local seafood is delicious, but what I’ve also learned is that much of the seafood caught here is unsafe for consumption. Much of Vietnam’s water contains high levels of drugs and contaminants such as Agent Orange and radioactive fallout traces from weapons. This may be a problem because many seafood producers catch their fish far offshore and deliver it to restaurants all over the country. This means the seafood from Vietnam travels longer distances, getting closer to the people who will consume it.

There are a couple of options for those who would like to try the new Vietnamese seafood. One of them is to cook it yourself and then take it home. Although I wasn’t able to verify this, a growing number of Vietnamese restaurants are selling fresh fish that they catch themselves. Another option is to go to Hanoi’s old quarter and purchase some fresh catfish. If you decide to go this route, make sure you buy the fish from a reputable vendor. Otherwise, you could end up with contaminated meat which is not something any of us want.

Dong Nai River

The Dong Nai River, which is the primary source of freshwater for the Hanoi metropolitan area, is considered one of Vietnam’s most beautiful and scenic rivers. This is mainly due to its proximity to Hanoi’s capital Hanoi and because of its strategic location. The Dong Nai River passes through the largest cities in Vietnam, such as Ha Long Bay and Hue. It then exits at the coastal town of Nha Trang. This river is considered to be the essential link between Hanoi and the Mekong Delta.

The Dong Nai River originates from the Central Highlands, where it joins the Tonle Sap Lake. The lake then branches into several smaller rivers, which feed the main river. Due to the number of rivers and the high volume of water flowing through them, it has been said that the river loses half its volume during each year. This makes the delta nearly one-fifth the size of China.

Hanoi Overview The Dong Nai River’s primary destination, which is Ha Long Bay, is the most significant economic, social and political center of Vietnam. It is also a considerable seaport and has the largest port in Vietnam after the Tonle Sap Lake. With a little more than two million people, the city is the largest metropolis in Vietnam and the fifth largest overall city in the world. Hanoi grows and becomes a booming industrial and cultural center, drawing international investment and providing employment to millions of Vietnamese. The city is also the home of some of Vietnam’s most respected monuments, such as the Thuy Tu Temple and the Grand Mosque.

Saigon River

The Saigon River is one of two major rivers in Vietnam that drains into the Gulf of Thailand. The other, the Mekong, is lower in elevation than the Saigon. It also empties into the Gulf of Thailand but has a more petite mouth. The Mekong, which historically has been the country’s major waterway, was reduced to a trickle after the French and Indian wars. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, however, the Mekong has become a much more significant waterway.

Today, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam, lies on the banks of both rivers. Its historic center sits on the Saigon River’s eastern bank, while its western section is on the delta side. Like most of Vietnam, the city lies on the correct geographical coordinates: just north of Hanoi and just south of Mapuche. Though its location and name give it the distinction of being the oldest continuous city, it was not known as such when Napoleon Bonaparte conquistrated the region in 1775.

Today, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the fastest-growing cities in Vietnam, with an economy growing at an annual rate of over seven percent. Many tourists visit this city to soak up the vibrant downtown atmosphere and see some unique architecture and handicrafts unique to Vietnam. The Mekong Delta is also an attraction, with various marine life, including rare porpoise species. The area is replete with natural attractions, from hiking to snorkeling, making it a favorite among visitors to Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City Water Pollution

The city of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is home to a large number of residents who love to fish and take a stroll on the calm and clear Phuong Lake. Unfortunately, the lake’s scenic beauty is under severe degradation due to the widespread pollution in the lake and nearby urban areas. One of the most detrimental effects of the pollution is water contamination with feces and urine. This unhealthy water often results in the death of many fish species that live by the lake’s waters. This is why the Vietnamese government has been dramatically urged to undertake urgent actions to protect the Ho Chi Minh City waterway and protect its residents. However, with the many projects being carried out by local and international organizations in the name of “saving” the lake from pollution and destruction, little progress has been made.

One of the most effective solutions to this problem has been to set up a body of water conservation and treatment facility at the mouth of Phuong Lake. This facility can filter all the sewage and garbage that enter the lake and filter out all the harmful elements present in the waterway. Once these facilities have been fully operational, residents will no longer need to worry about the lake’s deteriorating state and its fisheries. Even if, at some later date, there are still garbage and sewage in the waterway, they will be treated and filtered before entering the residents of Ho Chi Minh City.

Another critical aspect of protecting the Phuong Lake and the Ho Chi Minh City waterway is implementing a series of measures that will require the closing down the industrial establishments in the area. Many of these businesses generate toxic wastes that are harmful to the ecosystem. The closure of these establishments is only possible if the city has purchased the rights from the previous owners of the industrial buildings in the area. The city can acquire these rights through the purchase of tax exemptions. Reducing industrial waste and the cessation of new construction in the area will go a long way in reducing the burden of lake pollution.

Water Quality in Ho Chi Minh City

There is a big problem with the water quality in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is filthy and contains many chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals that make it unhealthy for people to drink. Water for washing is filthy, has a foul smell, and is full of bacteria. There is a significant lack of treatment technology for this dirty water. Water that goes into cars is treated in sewage before being used, but humans’ water is not treated. So while it may taste better than distilled water, it is harmful to your health.

The first thing you should do if you are in Vietnam is installing a water filter at your home. Water filters remove 99% of dirt, pollutants, and other harmful elements from water. People who have health problems should primarily be concerned about this issue. One of the worst effects of poor water quality is diarrhea, and people with chronic diarrhea should avoid drinking contaminated water. Water filters also make great additions to your kitchen. You can use it to purify water for cooking or just for drinking.

In addition to installing a water filter, you should pay attention to the water you use. It is recommended that you do not drink tap water because it is so dirty, and you can end up putting toxins back into your body when you drink this water. Instead, it would be best if you either boiled or buy purified water from a local vendor. Boiling water will kill any germs that may be living in your pipes, but purification cannot remove bacteria, viruses, or parasitic cysts.

Water in Ho Chi Minh City

For people living in Ho Chi Minh City, drinking tap water is like a dream come true. You can say that because of all the chemicals that are being sprayed by the local municipality, drinking water here is just safe enough to eat from the water bottle. But the reality is different when it comes to drinking water from your faucet. Aside from the fact that there are traces of toxic substances emitted by your municipality’s water systems, the water quality in this area is no better than in other places. Even worse, some scientists have already claimed that the contamination of the drinking water here is already categorized as part of a national water crisis.

Now that there is considerable controversy about the quality of water in Ho Chi Minh City, many people are now looking for alternatives to drinking tap water. To solve their dilemma, they now prefer to buy bottled water instead. However, with the price at $8 a bottle, many residents cannot afford it anymore. To help solve the problem, government institutions have begun offering complimentary bottled water deliveries. This service, which was previously provided only to foreign visitors and tourists, is now accessible even to Ho Chi Minh City residents.

Although there are already several brands available in the market today that claim to provide the best quality drinking water, it is still advisable that you check the product labels first before purchasing. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the bottled water that you have been promised. Furthermore, to make sure that the bottled water delivery you are getting is free of toxins, be sure to do a background check on the company you will be ordering your product from. This way, you will be assured that your family’s health and that of your cities will be protected.

Other sources:

Is Ho Chi Minh City Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$0.49 in USD (1.5-liter)


Ho Chi Minh City tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 63% High
  • Water Pollution 78% High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 37% Low
  • Water Quality 22% Low

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Ho Chi Minh City, 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 Ho Chi Minh City


Some of the Convenience Stores in Ho Chi Minh City

B'smart Convenience Store
B'smart Convenience Store
  • B's Mart
  • GS25
  • BA plus
  • Shop & Go
  • 7-eleven
  • Circle K
  • MiniStop
  • Co.op Food Pasteur
  • FamilyMart
  • Aeon Citimart Somerset
  • Supermarket Vinmart +

Estimated Price of Bottled Water


Layer 1
Layer 1
Layer 1
Layer 1