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Is Johannesburg Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 10:47 am, May 27, 2021

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Can You Drink Tap Water in Johannesburg?

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 Johannesburg.

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 Johannesburg, South Africa is safe to drink. Tap water in Johannesburg is reported to be some of the most reliable and cleanest in the world.

Skyline Johannesburg, South Africa

Tap water undergoes treatment which guarantees it is free of dangerous micro-organisms and contaminants. In some regions, South African drinking water is rich in minerals.

Avoid, drinking water from streams and rivers, particularly in areas where there is human habitation. Rivers and streams may carry water-borne diseases. But if you find unpolluted mountain steam, a drink would be most refreshing!

Contaminated water can be sanitized by boiling for 10 minutes, or by adding a teaspoon of bleach per 25 liters or a teaspoon of chlorine granules per 200 liters. In both cases, let the water to stand for 2 hours. Another approach is to expose water to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours in a translucent container with a small airspace, shaking after filling and every hour after that.

Source of Water in Johannesburg, South Africa

In the 19th century, Johannesburg tap water comes from the groundwater of the Zuurbekom Well. Water from the well was of such good quality that it didn’t need any purification. Due to the growing population, the water from Zuurbekom Wells could no longer supply the increasing demand. Another became the Vaal River to the south of Johannesburg.

In 1938 the Vaal Dam was built upstream of the Vaal River Barrage Reservoir, which is now the primary source of water. Rivers such as the Vaal, Klip, and Wilge Rivers naturally flow into the Vaal Dam. These rivers flow through agricultural land and rural settlements with very little industry. The Vaal Dam is of good quality by international standards. The Vaal River is one of the major rivers in South Africa, but runoff does not pose a large problem.

Johannesburg Tap Water

A lot of people ask me questions about tap water in Johannesburg. I have to say that while the overall quality of tap water in the city is excellent, there are still a few problems that are cropping up around the edges. There are some areas where tap water has such a strong flavor that you are almost tempted to drink it straight from the tap! Apart from these types of issues, however, tap water, in general, is perfect, and the people of Johannesburg treat it with a great deal of respect.

However, not everyone is so lucky. Some families in the outskirts of Johannesburg have to pay a substantial amount for their water every day. Many companies sell a bottle of tap water, but they cost so much that most people would be reluctant to purchase them. The other option is to buy water in bottles, but this can prove very costly for a family. There is a way around this, though, and this is by using the tap water of surrounding settlements.

Settlement water companies buy the water from the locals and give it away in return for tap water bottles. Of course, this means that they must carry bottles with them at all times. This is great for people who work long hours away from home because they can bring fresh water at all times without having to worry about getting it from a tap. When you consider the health benefits of drinking water from a bottle, you will quickly see why this method is preferred.

Johannesburg Water Supply

A recent study by an environmental research organization in South Africa has indicated that a lack of clean tap water could be costing the country over twenty million dollars a year due to a sustained increase in potable water demand. With this much money at stake, Johannesburg’s water supply is in a scorching seat. Not only is the city in the grip of a municipal crisis, with its budget overruns and protests from opposition parties, but there is also a geo-political battle taking place.

The current President of South Africa, Mr. Kgalema Motseco, has called for a review of the country’s water supply, arguing that excessive use of agricultural fertilizers and chemicals in the water table is to blame for the rising consumption. The main areas where most of the country’s population relies on water supplies are the Kaffa and Orange woods, which form the country’s largest reservoir and are surrounded by fertile agricultural land. However, agriculture is not the only way in which the Johannesburg water supply could be depleted. There has been much talk in the past of impending drought, with reservoirs losing their storing capacity in just the last thirty years. This talk of a coming drought led to large-scale speculation in the stock markets, with people speculating on how much water the reservoirs would hold.

As if this was not enough to put the water supply into crisis, in August this year, the government announced that a new pipeline intended to distribute water to metropolitan cities would cut the amount of water Johannesburg receives. If this pipeline is built according to plan, it will allow more than a third of the city’s water to be diverted for agricultural use. These developments have led to speculations that water could become even more scarce in the future. It is a scenario that plays on the anxiety felt all around the world about water scarcity.

Johannesburg Drinking Water

One thing that is always talked about when it comes to water is its quality, and you will find that in most of the cities across the world, including Johannesburg, you will see that it has a very high quality. You will find that it is filtered and treated and, in some cases, even ultra-pure. There is no doubt that this type of water is very pure and one reason people are so attracted to using it, especially in the business sector.

In addition to this, you will find that the prices at which this is available are pretty reasonable. This is something that is also noticed with tap water, which is quite expensive. Therefore, it becomes clear that looking to purchase drinking water would be better served to look at this option. Moreover, you will also find that it reduces or eliminates the chances of getting contaminated by using tap water. When this is used, it ensures that the contaminants present in the water are removed.

You can get this at most of the retail stores as well as through the Internet. You will have to ensure that you are getting it from a trusted and certified source. This should be your first step, as you would then be on the path towards ensuring that you are getting the best available drinking water available in the market. This is something that you will not regret.

Department of Water in Johannesburg

The Department of Water in Johannesburg is in charge of providing all the water services that the residents of the city need. They manage all the water systems, including the water supply, pipelines, and wastewater treatment plants. In terms of wastewater treatment, they also have a separate department for this. Water is collected from all the different buildings and stations throughout the city and transported to wastewater treatment plants.

The department also deals with water management and distribution. This department handles all the water requests from the residents of the city. If the city gets too much water demand, the water requests are distributed to the other municipalities or regions.

The Department of Water in Johannesburg is essential for the maintenance of the city’s water supply. Without this department’s proper functioning, the city will be in danger of getting hampered with constant water supply problems. The department ensures that the water supply to various houses, establishments, and commercial establishments is always maintained at high levels. If the water requirements get hampered, the city’s power generation facilities will also be affected—different sources around us. Water is stored in the tank and is recycled when it is needed. The water reclamation process is very vital in saving the world. This department also has experts who do the weekly maintenance on the water tank to work effectively. They must check on the level of chlorine present in the water.

They also provide training sessions for those who are working in the department. They give out classes that educate the workers on how to keep the water clean. If we want to do our part in helping the world, we should learn from them. These specialists are more than willing to extend a helping hand and offer advice to those who may need them.

Water is essential in life. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to live everyday life. It is, therefore, vital that we take care of the water we acquire. This is what the department does all the time. They provide clean, healthy water and ensure that the water we consume is free from germs and harmful elements.

Johannesburg Water Quality

As far as I can see, no Johannesburg water quality survey has yet been able to discern a significant difference between tap water and bottled water sold at many convenience stores. Bottled water seems to have gained an advantage over tap water here in South Africa. The water quality standards are deplorable, and the droughts are becoming more frequent and more severe. It is estimated that as many as one million households have tap water for drinking, cooking, and even bathing. Although it would be preferable if there were some municipal water delivery service to ensure that our water was clean, what is more important is that every home has access to clean water.

We know that most people prefer purified water, so why are we not taking the necessary steps to ensure this quality throughout the city? We need to understand that the water we take from the taps contains some impurities level that can have adverse effects on both health and the body as a whole. Some of the most common contaminants are lead, VOCs, pesticides, and chlorine, to name a few. Lead, mainly, is hazardous because it is still present in some older pipes. Many studies have also indicated that pregnant women and children are more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than others.

This is precisely why municipal water distribution companies often offer a free sample of water to prospective customers. This sample is taken in a lab and tested for impurities and lead. If you live in an area with drought, your tap water will most likely contain more contaminants than is safe for consumption. But even if you don’t live in an area affected by a drought, it is still essential to keep your tap water clean. Many bacteria and viruses like to grow in water that has had time to become stagnant or contaminated. It is pretty shocking to find out that some people ingest traces of lead into their bodies.

Johannesburg Water Supply Systems

Johannesburg is the Republic of South Africa’s capital city and is regarded as one of the major tourist destinations in the country. The town has many water supply systems, which provide clean and healthy drinking water to the people living here. The well-known Johannesburg water supply systems serve the city. These systems include borehole pipes and are operated by the water supply companies. Borehole systems have the advantage of drawing all the water from the underground and thus offer an unlimited supply.

The most critical water supply systems of Johannesburg are the borehole and the aqueduct systems. B Borehole system draws the water from beneath the ground and brings it to the surface. This provides safe and clean drinking water that is free from any impurities. The main drawback with this system is that the main water supply comes from wells, so one has to travel a long way to access the water.

Another renowned water source is the aqueduct system. These water supply systems draw water from rivers and lakes and bring it to the surface. There are many disadvantages associated with the same, as these water sources do not have much excess water on them and can get low. Another major drawback of these water systems is that they cost a lot. Overall, the people of Johannesburg have access to several excellent water supply systems that serve them quite well.

Johannesburg Bottled Water

In many cities around the world, you will find that there is a public drinking supply and in most of these, the tap water supplied to us is tap water. Many people have begun moving to Johannesburg as this city has one of the cleanest and purest drinking water sources in the world. Different water companies are operating in the city, ensuring that you always have a good supply of water to quench your thirst. Simultaneously, this water is also free from any harmful chemicals or other contaminants. However, it is advised that before you select a bottled water delivery company to deliver water to your home, that you do some research on the company so that you are ensured that the water that you are about to buy is pure and safe. It is imperative to be aware of the water contamination problems faced by various cities around the world.

The bottles used for water delivery in Johannesburg are made from the best glass available and are specifically designed to keep the water hot for a more extended period. The manufacturers recommend storing your water at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, which is what most of the bottle vendors across the country follow. If you want to know more about the best glass used for making bottles of water, you can check out the internet and find out about the various benefits and features that come with the glass bottles that are manufactured in this way.

It is essential to keep in mind that the water you select for your drinking should be free from harmful bacteria or germs. The last thing you would want is for your child to develop a specific type of sickness because of the water they drink from the bottle. This is why you must get hold of the right kind of water from different water providers in the city so that you can drink safe water that is free of any impurities. Apart from glass bottles, other materials are now being used for the manufacture of bottles of water. Among them, plastic bottles are the ones that are preferred the most because of their longevity. Apart from being cheap and durable, there are many other advantages of using plastic bottles over glass ones.

Water in Johannesburg

In my travels across the world, I have yet to come across a better and more refreshing way of enjoying water than in Johannesburg, South Africa. Located on the eastern coast of Africa, this rapidly developing city is the largest metropolis in the Republic of South Africa and the fourth largest in the entire world, when measured by gross domestic product. I have always longed to live in a place where I can genuinely enjoy the water and be close to the beach. The selection of Johannesburg as my ideal vacation spot was inspired by my desire to get closer to nature and experience a city full of life and diversity.

Given the wealth of natural resources in the area, you will find no water shortage, including fresh and clean drinking water and bath water (as in toilets), cooking water for meals, and the water used in public amenities such as swimming pools and parks. If you do not drink from a tap water tank, you may still be able to bathe and wash your hair without having to purchase bottled water from a company that offers water from a well in the form of tubes and bottles. Most homes in the city’s vicinity have water tanks with taps located both inside and outside the home and access points that can be used to fill bottles with tap water if you prefer not to use it that way.

Many Johannesburg homes, however, do not have access to a water tank. This means that either they are forced to use a bottle of water from a local store which is expensive or purchase a water tank and filter system from the municipality. These systems are costly and can be very complicated to operate. Still, they are essential for keeping water safe to drink and ensuring a constant water supply in an emergency. Many people earn a living by renting their water to other companies. This means that they may own water tanks if they would have to ensure that there is always a total water supply available.

Johannesburg Rand Water

Johannesburg and water have been acclaimed as one of the most acceptable cities worldwide. As one of the major cities and capital cities of South Africa, the city has so much to offer to visitors. Apart from the city’s fine dining, shopping options, sporting activities, nightlife, and educational institutions, the city also provides water to drink. This is why, if you are in the city and looking for sparkling water, then the best place to go to is the Johannesburg Waterfront. However, before going out to grab a glass of the best tasting water in the world, here are a few things that you should know about this famous beverage.

The Johannesburg Waterfront was built to cater to the growing needs of the residents of the city. This is done to provide safe drinking water to every person who lives in the area. Apart from that, with its impressive range of facilities, the Waterfront promises you a relaxing and soothing experience.

Apart from Johannesburg city, the Waterfront also supplies water to many other cities in the region. This makes it one of the major selling points of the Waterfront since it is so widely known as one of the top places to get drinking water. You can also enjoy watching the big sailing boats and other events taking place on the Waterfront on an exciting basis. If you want to have something to drink while visiting the city, you should consider getting a bottle of the Johannesburg Waterfront’s water. Moreover, getting Bottled Water is the best way to stay hydrated while on vacation to any city in the world!

Johannesburg Water Services

Johannesburg is one of the world’s largest cities and is known for its green image as well as offering a lot of recreational activities to tourists. There are many water services that you can choose from when it comes to traveling to this city since there are several options available for Johannesburg water services to provide. One of the most popular water services that people use when traveling to Johannesburg is the City of Gold service. This service includes water services and offers other types of city services like garbage collection, waste collection, and waste disposal.

The City of Gold also provides emergency water services whenever the city encounters a water shortage. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the city from the water that runs through your tap in this manner. In addition to the City of Gold, there is also the City of Mombasa, which has a wide range of water sources, including borehole water. You will be able to visit this city if you are planning to stay in the area because most tourists love to stay near water sources as it gives them the feeling that they are on an island.

These are some of the primary Johannesburg water services that you can avail of. Apart from the services mentioned earlier, other water services are available in the city to benefit if you plan to travel to the city. There are different kinds of water that you can take, such as city water, borehole spring water, and other water sources that you can find in the city. When traveling to Johannesburg, it is crucial to keep in mind water availability as most travelers experience water problems while traveling. You should make sure to have the right kind of water on your travels to this city.

Johannesburg Wastewater

The Johannesburg wastewater treatment plant is designed to treat all the raw sewage and wastewater coming into the city. This wastewater can go through three phases, which are aerobic, anaerobic, and suction conditioning. The latter two phases will treat the sewage and wastewater before it is sent onto a drainage field, while the anaerobic phase is for treating raw sewage that has not gone through the anaerobic stage. There are about thirteen treatment plants spread across South Africa, all of which serve different purposes. Each one of these plants is also required to have an annual license to operate as they are required to submit to and comply with all legislation and guidelines.

One of the most commonly applied methods of treating Johannesburg wastewater is known as aeration. This involves the introduction of oxygen into the wastewater to help it decompose. This is achieved by the use of tunnels containing water and aeration devices. The presence of aerated water allows the wastewater to feed upon the air, with the waste material getting decomposed in the process.

Apart from aeration, some other processes are also used to treat Johannesburg wastewater. These include denitrification, sub-micron filtration, the use of ion exchange, and electrolysis, among others. While most of the treatment plants in South Africa use these methods, others are also starting to use other more advanced techniques that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. For instance, there is now the opportunity to utilize the rainforest’s natural processes to cleanse the water of heavy metals such as lead. These methods are being successfully used to treat the wastewater coming from other towns and cities as well.

Johannesburg Water Pollution

If you are traveling to the city of Johannesburg in South Africa, be sure to take a close look at the water pollution in the city. The water in Johannesburg is contaminated from many different sources, from the enormous concrete manufacturing plant that sits right in the city’s heart. Not only does the substantial produce toxic fumes, but it also leeches chemicals and other pollutants into the ground and the water supply. The water supply pollution comes from waste materials that are discharged into the water from the plant, and when this water evaporates, it gets re-contaminated by rainwater.

Another primary source of water pollution in Johannesburg is from waste oil and gas burned off for heat in the city. These fumes get released into the air and can aggravate allergies and respiratory illnesses. In fact, during a recent study in South Africa, it was discovered that most lung diseases originated from the cities’ water pollution. The study, conducted by the World Health Organization, found that people living in Durban suffered more lung disease than any other city in the country. One of the most alarming results was that more people died from respiratory illness than from any other cause. This research showed that most deaths from respiratory disease could have been prevented if proper measures were taken to reduce water pollution in the city.

The biggest problem that is faced today by the residents of Johannesburg is water pollution. This is due to the increased use of open effluent treatment systems. These are not effective enough to ensure that the water flows clean. Since water cannot be confined in a bottle, it needs to be treated through filtration before being used in any household appliance. Since there are so many contaminants in the tap water, every house must have a filtration system installed. This will ensure that everyone in the neighborhood has clean and healthy water to drink.

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Tap water is completely safe to drink, Johannesburg's water has one of the highest ratings in the world.

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

The estimated price of bottled water

$1.03 in USD (1.5-liter)


Johannesburg tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 30% Low
  • Water Pollution 58% Moderate
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 70% High
  • Water Quality 42% Moderate

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


Some of the Convenience Stores in Johannesburg

Fresh Stop Convenience Store
Fresh Stop Convenience Store
  • Shell Shop
  • Pete's Convenience Store
  • FreshStop at Caltex Rouxville
  • Rite Price Supermarket & Wholesale
  • Yummy Mayfair
  • bp shop
  • Bruma 24 Hrs Quick Shop
  • Anilaa Tuck Shop
  • Magnum Stores
  • Bafana Bafana Tuck Shop
  • Quick Shop
  • Triple T Easy Buy Store
  • New Supersave Supermarket

Estimated Price of Bottled Water

1.5-liter15.75 R $1.04€0.95£0.84
500ml9.48 R $0.63€0.57£0.51

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