How to use water in Vietnam correctly and safely

You are wanting to study water in Vietnam to get safe use when traveling to this lovely country.

In this article, Vietnamdrive will mention:

Get a deep dive in each one or jump to any part that you like to notice!

tap water in vietnam

How is tap water in Vietnam?

Tap water is the main source of domestic water supply in major provinces and cities of our country today. When judged by the senses, tap water looks very clear, clean, and free of dirt. So, is it possible to drink tap water directly?

drink tap water in vietnam
Be careful to use the tap water | ©Vietnamdrive

Tap water, which is taken from groundwater or water from rivers, lakes, and ponds, is treated through a water purification system with industrial treatment methods. And then, it is supplied to households through pipes, being endpoints in the water faucet.

Tap water treated at water treatment plants serves the needs of the people. Most of this water source meets the domestic water standards set by the Ministry of Health of Vietnam and is safe to use for daily life.

Is the tap water clean? Can you drink it directly?

In Vietnam, almost no one is confident or dares to use tap water for drinking directly without cooking or other treatment methods.

There are reasons to explain why you cannot drink tap water in Vietnam:

Firstly, because the water treatment system and technology in Vietnam are still not good. Upstream water, when brought in, will be filtered from dirt, residue, algae and uses chlorine to remove some heavy metals and bacteria.

However, this is just a basic water purification step, not a thorough one. Tap water still contains some bacteria as well as chemicals, especially chlorine chemical residues. So, it can only be said that tap water in Vietnam is only relatively clean, but not for direct drinking.

Second, because the quality of the water pipeline system in Vietnam is not stable. Because the pipes have not been replaced for a long time and are often rusted and covered with dirt; so even if the tap water is clean, but when entering these pipes, it will also be contaminated with heavy metals, dirt, bacteria, etc. Also, pipeline monitoring, maintenance, inspection, and repair can be very costly.

In addition, more importantly, the water system needs to be disinfected and disinfected regularly, which is difficult to do effectively.

In addition, often in tap water, sometimes it contains Chlorine, Sulfur, coarse-scale (scales, rust accumulation), lead, heavy metals (Magnesium, Calcium, Iron), and parasites. other insects.

If not treated carefully before drinking, tap water can affect human health. Many areas have very foul tap water and a high concentration of chlorine because, in the process of treating tap water, chlorine is left over, drinking excess chlorine is toxic to the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. That’s not to mention the metal substances contaminated in the water, which are many times more toxic, with a high risk of causing cancer.

Water quality in Vietnam

Most of the cities in Vietnam have tap water to use, it means that the urban habitats meet basic requirements of water standard to use in their daily life.

vietnam water quality

However, many rural areas in Vietnam use water from bore wells, dug wells, or springs.

Many people in the mountainous areas and the plains are still not aware of the importance of clean water.

When asked about whether the water they are using is hygienic or not, many people think that having water to use is already very lucky, but the quality of the water source is not interested.

Although the state has built several clean waterworks in mountainous areas and rural districts, many are damaged quickly. And the local people there have to face the use of unsafe water. The water there is heavily contaminated with alum, salt, and lime.

Therefore, when traveling to rural or mountainous areas in Vietnam, you should bring enough bottled drinking water to drink, wash your face, brush your teeth.

We recommend that you arrange your trip starting from famous tourist places in Vietnam to visit, taking this as the key foundation to going to rural and mountainous areas.

Bottled water in Vietnam

In the bottled water market in Vietnam, there are many brands, from unknown brands to many famous drinking water companies also involved in the field of bottled water production.

There are many brands of drinking water products, on the one hand, it helps to distribute and introduce products to consumers better, on the other than this, this creates a quality disorder, which is an opening for poor quality products to existing in the market.

water bottles
One of good bottled water brands to choose in Vietnam.

You are very careful with bottled water products of local manufacturers, most of the quality is not guaranteed because it is difficult to manage and thoroughly handle these organizations, although the local authorities have trying so hard to stop them.

Bottled water produced from a small facility usually has a very low price. This creates an opportunity for some unscrupulous traders to take advantage of it to sell to tourists who don’t know much about it.

I was also a tour guide, so I often travel on the road a lot, the use of a variety of bottled water is inevitable. Once by chance, on the way to visit, I had half a bottle of water to drink in the 35 degrees Celsius sun. Just half an hour after opening the cap, I saw a strange, very bad smell from the water bottle. Since then, I have never used that product and have been very cautious with small manufacturing products.

You are a foreigner, it is better to choose famous water brands to ensure your health and help you fully visit Vietnam.

You can choose Pepsico’s Aquafina, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Nestle’s La Vie but be careful to avoid fakes, … You should buy them in reputable stores, supermarkets are the most suitable choice.

The price of a 500 ml drink bottle costs from 5,000 to 10,000 VND, the 1.5-liter bottle costs from 10,000 to 20,000 VND depending on whether you buy it cold or normal, buy it at a retail store, or buy it at a restaurant.

You’d better drink it cold. If there is no cold, drink while it is still cool, avoid drinking when the water bottle is hot.

Should you drink ice while you’re in Vietnam?

It is difficult to distinguish clean and dirty from ice. It is difficult to tell with the naked eye whether ice is clean or not because ice is colorless, odorless, and cannot be judged by eyes or noses like other Vietnamese traditional foods.

Using ice has become the eating habit of many people. They are considered as “tools” to support refreshment.

There are two types of ice: Instant ice used for drinking, and ice manufactured for food preservation or other purposes. You absolutely do not drink ice from ice to preserve food.

ice to cool drink
Not drink ice to cook drinks or food.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has stipulated that instant ice is considered clean when it ensures three factors from the source of ice-making water, production machinery, and distribution packaging. The water source must be tested, modern machinery, packaging for ice must be PE sealed, during transportation to the point of sale must ensure no breakage and cold storage.

However, because of the profit, many ice production facilities do not meet the above requirements, even the distribution stage does not ensure food safety and hygiene.

The use of dirty ice brings many health risks. Dirty ice is easily contaminated with E.coli, Coliforms, Fecal streptococcal bacteria that can cause intestinal diseases, acute diarrhea, some kidney failure, and blood sugar infections.

Particularly, the microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa (also known as green pus bacillus) found in dirty ice water, if it enters the lungs, kidneys, urinary tract, etc., can also cause death. In addition, organic substances in dirty ice water due to heavy metals: lead, mercury, arsenic, detergents, pesticides… have the potential to cause cancer, even parasites: worms, flukes… very easy to penetrate in dirty water sources to produce ice.

Therefore, if there is a need to use ice for instant use, you should use ice at production facilities that have been granted certificates of eligibility for food safety and hygiene and have periodic testing of the water used. and ice products according to regulations.

When you are a tourist, you should ask the restaurant what water the stone is made from. You can rest assured when the ice is made from bottled water by reputable companies or they make their own from cold boiled water.

In many cases when using ice under normal conditions there is still no problem, maybe the amount of toxins or bacteria in the ice is not enough to cause harm to the body. However, careful use of ice is a thing to pay attention to. Best of all, if you prefer to drink cold, use chilled bottled water, beer, and other beverages chilled.

8 notes when using water in Vietnam

1. In general, tap water is safe to boil and drink. However, the risks of water pollution are unavoidable. So, you can check the water quality by observing, if you see any problem with the water source, you can contact the owner of the restaurant, hotel, supplier to fix that situation, ensuring the health of yourself and others.

water vietnam
Using tap water | ©Vietnamdrive

2. If tap water has a strange smell, you should not use this water because the water can contain a lot of chlorine, boiling water will not be able to remove this chemical, and it will be unsafe when used for drinking.

3. Do not let the water boil for too long. For many people who regularly use boiled tap water to drink, you should never leave boiled water in the normal environment for more than 24 hours. In the process of boiling water, the bacteria can die but not all of them, leaving it in the environment for a long time will create conditions for bacteria to grow stronger.

4. Do not use the boiled water to cook again the next day because heating water again will create conditions for bacteria to grow stronger. The best solution is to boil enough water to drink during the day.

3. Do not use bottled water if you open the lid for a long time and especially in hot and humid conditions, or you accidentally leave it in the car in the hot temperatures in Vietnam when you go sightseeing.

4. Tap water is usually safe for brushing teeth, but you should not swallow them. If you accidentally drink tap water, you can quickly take a little bit more bottled water to dilute that environment. If live digestive enzymes are available, use them. Take the medication carefully as directed by your doctor.

5. Do not bathe in rivers, streams, or the sea when you detect one of the following signs: unusual color, strange objects, water edema far away. That is a safe way to protect your health, especially your skin and diarrhea.

6. Always be careful to ask your guide or operator to bring enough water or be sure you can buy enough bottled water on trips to the countryside and mountains in Vietnam.

7. With forest expeditions, be careful with spring water but may contain many pathogens. It is better to join a forest trip with a tour company, and avoid exploring in the primeval jungle alone. If you explore Son Doong cave in Quang Binh, the tour company will bring drinking water and water for cooking for the entire trip.

8. Be careful with rainwater in some urban areas, especially where there are many industrial plants. Because in rainwater there can be too much acid and minerals that will be harmful to your skin and health. An umbrella or a light raincoat to keep in your bag is a good choice. Does anyone know when the best time to visit is?

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About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.