Water quality in Taiwan


You can literally smell the chlorine in the water that comes from the tap where I live.

Maybe this is a Hsinchu County problem, but for some health certificate, my wife took a class and the water guy from HC openly recommended that everyone filter and boil the water from their taps. That mindset is so engrained, I want to buy a 6-filter filter system, with UV light, and my wife says no, since the water will still need to be boiled.

C’est la Taiwan!


Ballsy drinking the tap water.

I have a 30K NTD water filter system and still boil the water from the filter. It’s just habit. I’m pretty sure I can drink straight from the filter system faucet.


I’m wondering now if there’s any water “drinkability” test, something like a pregnancy test or an acidity test, but instead of peeing on a tiny paper you put it in a glass of water and it tells you if it has live bacteria or too high concentration of whatever is harmful to your body.

Well, a quick search showed this:

Basically the typical water test for your aquarium :smiley:

I wonder if this really works:

Not concerned about nitrites and nitrates, but about the bacteria…


I’ve seen some Europeans drinking tap water in Taiwan.
They must have forgotten that they’ve been out of Europe, where tap water is drinkable.


My city of origin is regarded for having about the best tap water in the country, so I have very high standards. To have to filter and then boil the water before drinking it sounds totally crazy to me, but I guess that there are reasons for doing it… here.


I just think tap water taste weird. But I’m pretty certain that it’s ok to drink if you wanted to in taipei at least. Nothing bad would happen to you. Most countries that have unsafe tap water is due to ground water contamination from poor sewage service if I’m not wrong. Aka people poop and stuff contaminates it.

But one thing I remember I always found strange was when I moved to the US and people asked me if I wanted water in their house. They would get a cup and use the tap water to fill to give me. It wasn’t that I found it dirty but I thought it was strange to give people bad tasting water. Or water that is not meant for drinking.


Does anyone know where to buy a water testing kit, or tell me the Chinese name for it? I live right outside Taipei so I can’t find much information on the water quality.

Thank you!


What exactly do you want to test? There are different kits and tests


Thanks for the reply.

I would like to test for heavy metals. I read that in Taipei, lead pipes have been replaced but i haven’t found anything for New Taipei City. Older buildings in particular are more susceptible to old pipes. PH level or organic residue are of no concern since cheap filters + boiling can eliminate that.


Maybe you can test heavy metals, I’m not sure, but you can measure solids in suspension for sure. Get a TDS tester either online or in one of those chemistry shops near main station.


Has there ever been any evidence that the water in Taiwan is unhealthy? Never heard of any issue.


I have been drinking tap water in Taipei for several months, religiously taking care of boiling it every time for several minutes.

I noticed the following:

  • weird persistent salty aftertaste under the tongue where saliva is excreted, as if the saliva itself I was producing changed taste
  • the skin on both of my forearms were populated with random red dots, similar to mosquito bites in size, but not ichy nor bumpy, just small random breakdowns of the skin
  • if I drank a lot of that water on a single day, I would feel a light nausea and have a general discomfort difficult to describe

While talking to a Taiwanese friend once, she mentioned that one of her friend experienced similar problems with the skin on her forearms and said it was because she was drinking tap water so it what made me realize it was the water.

As soon as I stopped consuming that tap water, these effects stopped soon after.


Why? There isn’t any hazardous bacteria to kill. Hazards are from metals and other unhealthy substances that don’t leave with boiling. Boiling can actually be worse because it concentrates the minerals and metals so you’re consuming more of the hazard material per glass.

If you want to improve the water, you need to strain it for the metals and minerals, not boil it. Boiling it has the opposite effect.

Do you think bacteria is causing the red dots or something else and what?

The taste and nausea are caused by boiling the water and concentrating the minerals and metals to inappropriate levels.


Well, probably unnecessary, but I have been told that even if the city does a good job killing the germs, the pipes in the building could soil it, so I didn’t want to take any chance.

I don’t know what it is, but Taipei water has a different effect on my body than in my country (where I do not experience anything strange). In the latter, I can definitely taste the chlorine as well, which is a bit comforting to me.


Ok, good to know, thanks!


In general, storage tanks can add bacteria, pipes usually add metals and minerals.


Our storage water tank is full of roaches and even mice. Unfortunately, I have witnessed its cleaning…


Hey, at least it is getting cleaned! Some other buildings with water tanks appear to simply skip this step, which I believe is a big cause behind the basically sh*tty water here.



It gets cleaned once every two years, after atoga throws a fit and knocks on every door until they cannot ignore it no mo.

Currently I am investing previous weekend time to convince residents of the need to drain the septic tank. Good times.


If you forget, would that be “Septic amnesia?”