Can I drink the tap water in Cape Town? What is the best water filter?

Can I drink the tap water in Cape Town? What is the best water filter?

Can you drink the tap water in Cape Town? What are the common tap water issues? What is the best water filter for Cape Town? 

Where Does the Tap Water in Cape Town Come From?

Cape Town’s tap water primarily comes from rainwater collected by the Western Cape Water Supply System. The majority of the water, about 95%, comes from a regional, integrated surface water system managed by the national Department of Water and Sanitation. The city is also supplied by six major dams: Theewaterskloof, Voëlvlei, Berg River, Wemmershoek, and Steenbras Lower and Upper. Capetown has suffered from major droughts which also negatively impacted the water quality sources.

Source: Western Cape Water Supply System and Groundup

How is the Tap Water in Cape Town Treated?

The City of Cape Town has 12 water treatment plants where the tap water is treated, tested, and made safe for consumption. The water undergoes a rigorous treatment process that includes filtration and disinfection to ensure it meets the South African National Standards (SANS 241) and WHO standards for drinking water.

Source: City of Capetown 

Is the Tap Water in Cape Town and the Western Cape Safe to Drink?

The tap water in Cape Town is safe to drink after treatment according to international standards. The city complies with strict water quality checks as prescribed by the national government’s Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The City of Cape Town’s Scientific Services Laboratory tests almost 6000 samples of water each year, ensuring the municipal water supply remains safe to drink. Download the 2024 water quality report.

However, this doesn't mean that the tap water that comes out of your tap is healthy to drink. Old pipes, chlorine by-products and unregulated substances such as PFAS and microplastics may negatively impact the water quality.

Furthermore the chlorine level is high compared to tap water in other parts of the world which means it may have a chemical taste and smell. 

For tasty and purer water it's a good idea to use a water filter. See more information below.

What are the Common Issues with Tap Water in Cape Town?

While Cape Town’s tap water is generally safe to drink, it has faced challenges, particularly during periods of drought. During these times, residents have reported a change in water taste due to the presence of geosmin, a natural organic compound that grows in the water when new rainfalls break a dry spell. However, this does not pose a significant health risk.

More recently microplastics and PFAS have been reported to be found in tap water in Cape Town.

What is the Best Water Filter for Cape Town?

For Cape Town residents looking to further enhance their water quality, the EcoPro and Ultra faucet filters by Tappwater come highly recommended.

The EcoPro uses a 5-stage nanofiltration system, including coconut shell carbon block technology, to deliver great tasting and clean water, removing over 100+ known contaminants. It has been favorably tested and reviewed in Cape Town for its superior filtering technology, taste, product quality, flow rate, capacity, sustainability, and value for money.

We also recommend the Superior and Reverse Osmosis filters by Bluewater.

Bottled Water in Cape Town

While tap water in Cape Town is safe to drink, bottled water is also widely available. Companies like Mountain Falls and Aquazania offer premium mineral water options.

However, it’s important to note that using a water filter or a reusable water bottle is a more sustainable and cost-effective solution compared to bottled water.


In conclusion, Cape Town’s tap water is safe to drink and meets high-quality standards. However, for those seeking to further improve their water quality, water filters like EcoPro and Ultra by Tappwater offer an excellent solution.

Not only do they provide clean, great-tasting water, but they also contribute to a more sustainable and plastic-free environment. So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor in Cape Town, rest assured that you have access to safe and high-quality water.

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