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Is Cebu City Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Do not Drink :(

LAST UPDATED: 2:19 am, May 10, 2021

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Can You Drink Tap Water in Cebu 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 Cebu City.

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

Cebu City Tap Water

Cebu City tap water that you drink every day is free from contaminants? Well, this is not exactly true. The water that seeps out of your faucets is very much contaminated. It could be caused by the drug industry, big industry, or just the ordinary negligence that comes as part of doing business in any place.

You might have seen the huge reservoir in Cebu City, where huge amounts of treated sewage and garbage are dumped into it. The city uses this garbage and sewer water for filling in old canals and also for treatment purposes. However, these pollutants eventually end up back in the environment. When it rains or snows, water slowly makes its way down the canals and flows through the underground pipes. And, whenever the water recedes, a layer of mud and debris falls, washing away all the contaminants along with it. This is what we call rainwater.

The tap water you usually get from your taps contains traces of thousands of contaminants, including heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, chlorine, benzene, and radioactive elements. These substances are carcinogenic, so cancer is very much a risk among those who regularly consume this water. Drinking contaminated water is equivalent to doing your share in making your body sick. It is like handing life over to some unseen disease machine.

Cebu City drinking water

What is in your drinking water in Cebu City? That was the question that many people who were newly relocated to Cebu asked when they first moved to the old Santo Domingo Airport. The answer to this question may surprise you. The answer is shocking!

This may come as a big shock to many people, especially those told by their doctors that they do not need to worry about their health because the tap water here is safe and pure. If you want to know the truth, you have to look into it. You see, the water that the airport provides is not regulated at all. The distribution of this water comes from a tap located some distance away. Thus, any dirt or other contaminants can easily reach your drinking liquid.

You might want to ask how this can be possible. This is a very common practice in many cities all over the world. The system used at the said location allows any dirt or contaminants to pass through. As for me, I don’t think this is a very viable solution for the drinking water of Cebu. This is the reason why I started to research and build my filtration system.

Cebu City water quality

The city of Cebu in the Philippines is home to one of the most scenic and developed cities. The residents enjoy a high standard of living, excellent transportation facilities, and access to some of the best natural harbors in the country. To give the residents the very best of what they deserve, the city has implemented strict water quality standards. With over 95% of the city is treated as pure and drinking tap water comes from the taps in Cebu City, many people wonder how this is possible. The answer is that the amount of contaminants present in the city water supply is minimal, if not non-existent.

Even the filtration systems, which the city uses for its supply, effectively remove contaminants from the water. Most water filtration methods employ reverse osmosis, which effectively cleans the water of any contaminants found in the water. Another method uses ultraviolet light to remove any harmful microorganisms or parasites that are present in the water. Both of these methods are quite effective at cleansing the water. Still, reverse osmosis tends to have a more negative impact on the body than ultraviolet light.

Because the amount of contaminants in the water supply is minimal, the water is categorized into five categories depending on its purity. The first category is for pure spring water, distributed to homes throughout the city through municipal water plants. The second, third, and fourth categories each have a sub-categorization according to the extent of contamination present in the water, giving the water the final classification of soft or hard water. The last category, which is labeled as soft water, has very few minerals or nutrients, which further decreases its usefulness as a source of water for drinking purposes. While it is true that Cebu City water quality is among the best in the country, it is still better to consume water purifiers than to use untreated tap water.

Water in Cebu City

Water in Cebu, Philippines, is a must-need commodity. The major cities in Cebu normally consume 35 thousand or more liters of water per day. However, this quantity of water can be minimized if the appropriate systems are put into action. Water in Cebu comes from the Loyang river in Carmen, found in the Northeastern part of Cebu. This river passes through several cities in Cebu, including Baguio City, Dumaguete, Manila, Alabang, Makati, Bacolod, Davao, etc.

If you are traveling to Cebu, make sure that you use the metered taxi service to help you reach your destination. A trip to Cebu would not be complete without visiting the Manila zoo. If you happen to visit the city in the wee hours of the night, then it would be best to call a cab or rent a motorcycle taxi for your convenience. If you are not used to traveling in Cebu, it would be best to use the local buses that usually operate during odd hours in Cebu City. It is a well-known fact that many tourists in Cebu love to stay on packaged tours, but they often spend more than what they have paid for.

A trip to Cebu could include stops in other places, but the most popular destinations are mentioned above. The water in Cebu may be unclean, but it is still very refreshing and safe. Most of the hotels in Cebu Pacific have information displays about the different attractions in and around the island. Water sports are available in abundance. Some several resorts and hotels offer luxurious amenities like swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzis, and others. Thus, a vacation in the water in Cebu can make all your dreams come true.

Is Cebu City Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$0.63 in USD (1.5-liter)


Cebu City tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 54% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 81% Very High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 46% Moderate
  • Water Quality 19% Very Low

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

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