Drinking-Water in Indonesia. Many people from various parts of the world visit Indonesia for traveling. There are indeed several same habits and technology with your country of origin regarding this issue. While some matter might be different from the situation in Indonesia, including tap water, can I drink tap water in Indonesia?
Knowing the water condition as a traveler must be a concern, especially as a solo traveler.
Drinking tap water directly in Indonesia is generally not safe. Water that flows in tap water still contains bacteria that can make you sick. You can drink tap water after going through the filtering process or by boiling it first.
So, Is it safe to drink boiled tap water in Indonesia?
The answer is, it is safe to drink boiled water.
Does it apply in all regions in Indonesia?
In general, it is the same in all cities in Indonesia, including in the regions of Bali, Lombok, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and other places. Only in some instances can tap water be drunk directly.
Water that looks clear is not necessarily clean from germs. So do not let your vacation becoming less fun because of these trivial things. Water that contains bacteria, on a mild effect can cause diarrhea. In exceptional cases will cause intestinal infections and typhus.
Without going through processing first, people who drink tap water can quickly get diarrhea if you have already taken tap water in Indonesia and have diarrhea. You don’t need to worry. You can quickly look for diarrhea medicine around the place you stay in Indonesia.
Already Drinking Tap Water In Indonesia, What To Do?
Diarrhea medicine is easily found in drug stores and without requiring a prescription from a doctor. One of the franchise pharmacies that are open 24 hours is called K24 but usually located in a busy city area, while in the suburbs, it might be rather tricky to find.
Or, you can also buy it at the supermarket (circle-k, 7-Eleven, Indomaret or Alfamart). Some supermarkets are open 24 hours. Reviews about drug stores might be available in another article on this initialmatters.com blog.
Where Does It Come From?
Water for consumption in Indonesia usually comes from three sources; the first source is from wellbore water; the second source is from the water treatment plant; the third is water from springs.
Wellbore water cannot be drunk directly, nor can water from a water treatment plant. Water from bore wells usually has no taste (except in areas near the coast, the water may be somewhat brackish).
Water from a wellbore usually has different clarity, depending on location and season. During the rainy season, where water discharge is high, water in almost all areas in Indonesia will have excellent clarity.
Water from water treatment will taste a little differently. It is because of the chemicals used in processing.
Water from water treatment usually comes from clean river discharge and minimal pollution. The water is passing through the processing site at first so that it becomes clearer and far from the germs. There is a record regarding this issue than can be read here.
But in its distribution, the water can become contaminated by bacterial contamination. Thus, water reaching the housing becomes no longer suitable for drinking directly.
The third source is ordinary bottled mineral water, which usually available at various supermarkets in Indonesia. Bottled mineral water can be drunk directly.
There is also water that comes from springs that are available in water refill agents that are processed by machine and can be drunk directly.
There are various brands of mineral water in Indonesia. On rather small islands, such as in Bali and Lombok, there are usually local mineral water producers that only distribute them in the area.
Usually, bottled mineral water with a good brand is already available around the tourist area, so you don’t need to worry.
The problem that may arise from bottled mineral water is regarding plastic waste. In Indonesia, plastic waste is a severe problem. The use of plastic is extensive, while recycling is still lacking.
Tourism also contributed to this problem. In some crowded areas, tourists can surf or dive side by side with plastic.
Some NGOs have tried to contribute to giving solutions. Active role and socialization is a common thing to do to spread awareness. But it seems that the problem is not solvable in a short time.
Hotels or Hostels Serving
There are several kinds of water in the hotel. Water provides for drinking purposes, usually using a bottle or kettle. They are safe for direct consumption without worrying.
In a large hotel brand, it usually works with bottled mineral water producers that specifically facilitate hotels with ready-to-drink mineral water with the hotel’s identity.
While in hostels, water often provides in a kettle, which usually comes from small-scale water treatment facilities. The water is also safe to drink directly.
The water provided by the hotel to be drunk in the room is safe to drink directly or also to make coffee and tea.
The water that is provided in the hotel restaurant or at the hotel dining room can be drunk directly using the hotel’s glass and safe. The water usually comes from non-pipe water treatment.
In addition to water that intends for consumption, there is also water that is not for consumption-purposes, water flowing in the tap, in the sink, in the bathroom, or other open areas cannot be drunk directly.
The water usually comes from drilled well water or water from water treatment that channels through pipes. The water intends for bathing, washing teeth, or other purposes that are not for direct consumption.
But the water can be drunk after boiling it first. Boiling the water until it boils will kill germs in the water. After the water boils, let it cook 3-5 minutes will make the water drinkable.
Other drawbacks make non-consumption water not recommended for drinking even after boiling, and this is because the water may have a bad taste and not fresh compared to water that intends for direct consumption. So maybe it’s better to boil bottled water or just a kettle.
What about in a restaurant or food stall in Indonesia, is it safe?
Drinks served in restaurants, fast food courts, or other food stalls are safe to drink directly.
Just as in the hotel, there are each of these designations for water. The water provided, whether served in the form of water (Air Putih) or which mix into juice, tea, or coffee, is safe for consumption.
While the water in the sink is not for direct consumption, so do not refill the water in that place for immediate use.
Some local restaurants or eateries provide many sinks in the dining area. They are not to facilitate water refill, but rather because some Indonesian people for certain foods, prefer to eat using their hands directly.
So the faucet in the sink is intended for hand washing, either after or before eating.
What About Water In The Street Vendor?
Street vendors in the city usually use decent water to drink, because if not, they will abandon by their consumers.
Water used by street vendors comes from refill water, which purchases from small-scale water treatment whose source of water comes from mountain springs. The water is relatively safe to drink directly.
In the rural area, there is also a traditional food stalk that usually uses water from wellbore water, but tourists typically don’t visit the place. Besides, the food that available may not suit the tastes of tourists, so I will not discuss it further.
How About In The Rest Area?
Travelers who choose to use the landline by renting a car might rest in the rest area. The rest area usually exists around the area of the highway. Water uses in the rest area are generally the same as the designation of water in a restaurant or eating place.
Is It Ok To Brush Your Teeth With The Tap-Water In Indonesia?
Both tap water and water from any source available at your place of stay are safe to use. Either for brushing your teeth, also for gargling.
Face Washing and bathing
Water from tap water or tap water from various sources is safe to use for bathing and washing your face, so don’t worry, the water won’t irritate your skin.
Otherwise, a source of irritation caused by the sun and the heat, especially it makes excessive sweating.
FOR TOURISTS WHO CHOOSE TO STAY FOR A LONG TIME IN INDONESIAFor longer stays, the water problem is a concern
Tourists who choose to stay longer in Indonesia should pay attention to which water sources use, both for hygiene and health, also concerning budget travel arrangements that must be maintained.
For tourists who stay at hotels, it seems that the water has already been explained above, with each designation. Besides, the staff at the hotel will undoubtedly provide the needs you need during your stay.
As for those who decide to rent a house for more extended stays, the water problem is a concern. Drinking-Water in Indonesia may be a tricky problem for some people; therefore, a little bit of research can be beneficial for you.
When you want to rent a house, it is better to ask which water source used in the installation of the home you want to rent. Don’t forget to look directly at the water condition, is it explicit or not, does the water smell bad or not.
If you use a pump well, then make sure it functions properly, and there are no obstacles so far in all seasons (in Indonesia, there are two kinds of seasons, the rainy season and the dry season).
If the house uses an installation of water treatment that channel through pipes, it is better for you when renting a home to have the ability to keep in touch with the landlord, for good.
For daily drinking water, it is better to choose to buy gallon water. There are two types of gallon water in Indonesia.
The first type of gallon water is gallon water, which produces and distributed by well-known brands (the price is more expensive).
The second type of gallon water is refill gallon water from small scale water treatment plants. This water is suitable for daily drinking and cooking purposes. For drinking purposes, it does not need to boil to consume.
Refill gallons of branded water is easy to buy in supermarkets as drinking water in Indonesia, and you can exchange empty gallons for those that still contain abundant water by paying at the cashier.
Unfortunately, you have to bring the gallon yourself to the supermarket. As additional information, in the Jakarta area, there is already an online motorcycle taxi service that willing to delivers gallon drinking water to the house where you are renting. The platform is called Go-Life, you can find it on google play store.
Whereas a small refill water providers are may have a particular condition. Usually also willing to deliver gallons of water to the place you are renting a house, so make sure it is available the first time you buy water in that place, including the telephone number used to contact.
How About Buying Your Own Water Filter?
For the reason of staying a few nights at a house that you rent in Indonesia, it seems that purchasing this equipment is not a wise thing.
Unless you decide to stay for a very long time, maybe the choice to buy a water filtration tool will benefit you, because hygiene and quality of drinking water, you can control yourself directly.
AVAILABILITY OF DRINKING WATER IN EXTRAORDINARY TOURISM IN INDONESIA
What about tourists who want to do mountain trekking in Indonesia? How can drinking water be obtained?
Indonesia is in the ring of the fire area, so it has many beautiful mountains that are often visited by tourists, both local and foreign tourists.
Mountain climbing areas usually exist in rural areas. Water selection in this region is more strict than in urban areas. But to be more safe, drinking water when doing mountain trekking is bought at the supermarket when about to go up the mountain.
Supermarkets are usually located side by side with traditional markets, before reaching the mountain trekking basecamp.
Bottled mineral water prices in supermarkets are generally the same, both for urban areas and for rural areas. While in stores owned by residents, the cost of mineral water may vary.
Bottled plastic waste can be squeezed and taken down to the base camp after trekking. Usually, there is a plastic bottle collection site in the mountain trekking basecamp area. The collected bottles will often go to plastic-waste processing.
In mountainous areas, residents usually know the source of clear springs that can be drunk directly. Residents often make independent water installations for domestic use and not for mountain trekkers.
While the food and drinks traded in mountain trekking areas can come from more significant springs or bore well water.
Springs in the Mountain Area
In certain regions in Indonesia, several customs are involved regarding this spring. Some springs are still sacred by residents.
I recommend not to use water from this one source because, in addition to respecting local customary norms, bottled mineral water is also easy to find.
The Condition Around The Waterfall
Water coming down from a natural waterfall can be drunk directly and as a source of Drinking Water in Indonesia unless your body condition is not good.
Because, although it can be drunk directly, the amount of bacteria is unknown. So if your stamina is not right, you should avoid drinking or refilling water from the waterfall.
Interested to have a visit to Indonesia? also, read this post about Everything You Need to Know Before You Go to Indonesia, And Where To Go
If the reader wants more information, just leave a message in the comment column, I will reply periodically.