Is Toilet Water Safe to Drink: What You Need to Know 

Is toilet water safe to drink? It may seem like a weird question, but it’s one that crosses the minds of millions of people now and then. In most cases, it comes from the same water supply pipes that deliver water to your kitchen sink, so why not. Right?  

In this article, we examine the safety aspect of drinking toilet water. We’ll also explore the safety of drinking water from the bathroom tap, not directly from the bowl — for humans, anyway. Of course, pets will naturally want to drink straight from the bowl whenever they get a chance. 

You may have even caught your cat or dog in the act a few times. Should you be worried? Read on to find out if toilet water is safe to drink — for both humans and pets. 

Where Does Toilet Water Come From? 

In most homes, the toilet is connected to the same water supply as the kitchen sink. Therefore, all the water in your household comes into your house from the same source. Some of it goes to the kitchen, bathroom toilet tank, faucets, etc. 

Still, that doesn’t make toilet water safe to drink. The water in your toilet may be as clean as your kitchen drinking water, but the toilet itself probably isn’t. Therefore, the problem with drinking toilet water does not stem from the water itself but from the condition of your toilet tank and bowl.

How Dirty Is Toilet Tank Water?

The water in the toilet bowl will never be as clean as drinking water, even if you always flush the toilet after use. How dirty is toilet water? Very dirty. Flushing doesn’t eliminate all germs. Residual bacteria can remain in the standing water in the bowl even though the toilet is flushed after each use. 

What Happens When You Drink Toilet Water?

Although toilet water may look fresh and clean, it may contain unseen contaminants that can put your health at risk. as mentioned in the previous section, your toilet can become a breeding ground for all kinds of germs if it’s not cleaned properly.

The water in your toilet bowl may contain dangerous organisms — such as E. coli and Giardia — and you should not drink it under any circumstances. These germs can cause health problems such as severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and skin infections.

There are also chemical contaminants from the toxic cleaning products we use to clean our toilets, which should be a real concern for pet owners. 

When Can You Drink Toilet Water? 

You should only drink toilet water in an emergency and not the bowl, but the reservoir tank of your toilet. Also, you should only drink toilet water as a last resort. Before drinking toilet water, try getting water from your hot water tank, pipes, ice cubes in your freezer, etc.

Is it Safe to Drink Water from Bathroom Taps?

Now that we’ve established that toilet water is unsafe, let’s examine the safety of water from the bathroom tap. While drinking water straight from the bathroom tap is not as bad as drinking directly from the bowl, it’s not safe either. 

The bathroom piping in some — mostly older — buildings are made from lead. Potential lead poisoning makes this water dangerous to drink. And unlike the water in your kitchen sink, water in your bathroom tap isn’t as fresh since it has been in the plumbing system for a while. 

When it comes to water from your bathroom taps, you can use it to brush your teeth and wash up. However, it’s not safe to drink. Lead poisoning is a concern with water from the bathroom taps, especially for small children. If you have kids, remind them to spit after brushing their teeth. 

The Bottom Line

Most people would never even consider drinking water from the tap in their bathroom, leave alone water from the actual toilet. Nonetheless, whether or not toilet water is safe to drink is a question many have pondered. 

Maybe you are a curious individual worried about what would happen if you drank toilet water in an extreme emergency situation. Perhaps you are a pet owner and are concerned after observing your cat or dog lapping up toilet water. 

Although the water that fills your toilet bowl is the same as the tap water from your kitchen sink, it’s not safe to drink. Even if it looks fresh and crystal clear, the water in your toilet bowl is contaminated with all manner of germs that can make you or your pet ill. 

Keep your pet from drinking toilet water by keeping the toilet seat down at all times. If you ever have to drink toilet water in an extreme emergency, drink from the toilet tank, not directly from the bowl, as a last resort. 

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