A blog about life in London

London Tap Water Is Poisonous

London Tap Water Is Poisonous

I don’t mean to be alarmist or anything like that, but I have come to the conclusion that London tap water is something that should be avoided at all costs. In fact I will go as far as saying that the filthy stuff is poisonous and a downright danger to your health. London tap water is unsafe to drink and I will take it one step further and  say  that it isn’t even a good idea to wash in the stuff.

It is a fact that 80% of London’s drinking water comes from storage reservoirs connected to the River Thames and the River Lee. I’m sure that anybody that has ever been to London, couldn’t help but notice the filthy colour of the water in the Thames and it is obvious that a lot of chemicals go into turning that into the stuff that flows out of the tap.

I’m basing my assumption that London tap water is a danger to your health from my own findings. When I first arrived here, I did a wee bit of research and found that the tap water was safe to drink, it maybe tastes disgusting but it was safe to drink. Not been one to waste money on something, which I could get for free and I thought I may eventually get accustomed to the taste, so I drank it.

However during my first 3 months living in London I had a constant sore throat, which just wouldn’t go away. It was round about then that I discovered where the water I was drinking originated from and I thought holy f**k. I instantly put a halt to local tap water going down my sensitive throat. And believe it or not within a couple of days my throat was back to normal and it hasn’t bothered me since.


I can personally understand why Londoners are far more likely than those elsewhere in the country to drink bottled water more than once a day, they  have got taste buds and care about their  health. Do you really think the authorities would tell us the truth and that we shouldn’t be drinking London tap water because it is a danger to our health’s, think about it! I bet you good old Boris never touches the stuff, he knows better!

I also cant help but notice that in London the amount of people going around with bad skin, it is unbelievable. I was sitting on a crowed tube the other day and I swear virtually every single person on it had bad and spotty skin on their faces. I have never seen anything like it in my life, for a horrible second, I thought I was in second rate horror film. In fact, even my own face is not looking as clear as it once was. I know the answer and you have probably guessed it too, it is London tap water, the stuff is poisonous!

For me the taste of London tap water is absolutely disgusting, I can’t understand why anybody would drink the stuff. The only reason I can think of is because it is free, and the English try and call the Scottish mean with money, give me a break.

I read somewhere that in blind tests that most people couldn’t tell the difference between chilled bottled water and chilled London tap water, all I have to say about that one, is that they must have used people without taste buds for the test. I have just came back from Barbados and for that matter the tap water back home in Aberdeen is like Perrier compared to the stuff that comes out of the taps in London.


Thankfully my local Sainsbury’s sells a litre bottle of Scottish mineral water for 35 pence called Caledonian. The water is sourced from the Caledonian Spring, which is located on the Eastern edge of the Campsie Fells and is in a beautiful and pollution free part of Scotland. This a much better choice for my health than drinking tap water that tastes like it has came straight out of the filthy Thames.


  1. I can’t really add anything to what I have already said or how I feel about London tap water. I find the taste disgusting and just because ‘THEY’ say it’s safe to drink doesn’t mean I have to believe them!

  2. i completely agree with you,i also looked into the tap water in london an found it has lots of chemicals an estrogen,i also drink caledonian an have done for about 5 years now an can honestly say i feel better for doing so,as to why ppl drink tap water i think theyd rather stay ignorant due to many reasons mainly they cant afford to live on bottled water.

  3. People drink tap water in London because they are easily fooled and they believe what the Government tells them. You, I and a lot of other people know the truth, that the tap water in London is bad for our healths…

  4. I don’t find it too bad but then that may be because I’m used to it or maybe because I use a filter jug. That said, after drinking the tap water in other locations I can tell the difference… I just try not to think of the Thames 😉

  5. Laura, the taste is what truly gets me … London tap water is disgusting and it really does give me a sore throat…

  6. I thought it was only me but now I know I’m not alone. This is the worst water I have ever tried honestly. I can’t believe how this water is full of chemicals that only creates limescale!! Are those chemical companies owned by the London Thames water? because it’s unbelievable the amount of products you need to buy to get your shower and taps clean. It only happens in this country!! Limescale normally occurs but not in such a short time.
    Apart from that I believe the water causes a lots of moles and warts! just look around you, everyone is full of them!
    Now I have water filters because I can’t drink this water anymore. I’ve been living in many countries and definitively this is the worst water ever.

    On top of that, I’m getting worms (bloodworms) lately coming from my toilet tap, that’s very disgusting! How on earth can a worm survive if allegedly the water is treated chemically? After a bit of Google research, it seems it happens from time to time, but where it’s an ongoing problem.



    And the list follows…

    My point is, how people can live with this and has anyone ever complained? or they’re just drinking bottled water?


  7. Alphonse, you are most certianly not alone. London tap water is undrinkable in my humble opinion. I personally think some proper tests need to be done on London’s water, from an organisation who haven’t got a hiden agenda!

  8. your right abaout the filthy water..but how much did caledonian water pay for this plug?

  9. Tanna, I wish they had paid me and if they had I would have dislosed that in the article, which would have been a sponsored post. Why not say I was paid by those crooked overpriced fuckers called Sainsbury’s but you see what you want to. I also like Evian water, but they are to expensive for my pocket…and I haven’t recieved any money from them either.

    At least you agree London Tap is filthy water and it tastes fucking filthy as well!

  10. This is all rubbish. You are morons. Millions of people live in London and regularly drink water from the tap. Surprisingly enough they are not dropping dead from water related diseases. Suggesting a relationship between contaminated water and spots on the skin is very foolish, as a med student I can assure you that there is no evidence to support this. Shut up and save some money; drink tap.

  11. David, yesterday I drank London tap water for the first time in ages and I almost threw up, it honestly tasted that disgusting. It is undrinkable. I would rather spend the 20 pence a day it costs me to buy bottled water, than drink the piss that comes out of my tap. I will make my own mind up…

  12. Does anyone have a link that discloses everything that’s in London’s water?

  13. Alicia, something very strong to clean the water to make it drinkable for sure!

  14. I strongly agree with you London tap water taste & when I use to drink the nasty stuff I always use to vomit & my hair & skin use to look unhealthy but now since I stop drinking the nasty stuff my skin is glowing & my hair is shiny. I always use to get stomach ache after drinking the stuff. The government ain’t gonna tell us people shit cause they no what’s in the tap water & I believe drinking this poison will also make us have health problems like cancer ect.

  15. Annanelle, I totally agree. Something that tastes so bad and is so heavily polluted before it is treated to make it drinkable can only be bad for our health. People who believe everything this or any Government tells them are completely crazy!

  16. Tap water is much more regulated for safety than bottled water. Chilled tap water came joint 3rd in blind taste tests with a panel of wine someliers out of 25 designer brands. Users should be more concerned about the elevated levels of antimony found in bottled water; particularly if it has been on the shelves for a while. See http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2006/January/19010601.asp

  17. Back home in the North East of Scotland the tap water tastes delicious and I drank it ever day! In London I can’t drink it because it honestly makes me feel ill! Thankfully the supermarket I buy my 40 pence a liter Scottish water in flies off the shelves at an alarmng rate…

  18. There is no taste difference in London tap water, it’s all imagination. I’ve drunk it all my life, litres of it everyday to prove to my family that is actually ok, they all drink bottled water, I am the only one that doesn’t have 1 or more of the following problems Weight problems,Diabetes,Heart problems,dental problems and I don’t anything spectacular like exercise.

    You need to think about WHERE your bottled water comes from, don’t believe everything it says on the bottle.

    Did you know that London has many underground springs,reservoirs and rivers as well as open rivers especially on the rural parts that flow into London, like the New River,Silkstream which are purpose built for Reservoirs.

    Water from Hertfordshire, that is basically the same thing as Chiltern Springs haha

    Also why would the government discourage you from buying bottled water when it is a source of 20% VAT????

    The government does not own any local water companies anymore and has no involvement.

    Don’t forget some bottled waters are also sourced with local water supplies such as Dasani by Coca-cola enterprises. Where do you think Coca-Cola and Britvic source there water to make there drinks????

    Bottled Waters especially Scottish sourced ones are also found to have naturally occuring Fluoride which is higher than the content in London’s tap water as well as containing Aluminium.

    So don’t waste your money because of a myth, there are worse things like Anti-Perspirants,Car fumes,aluminium cookware and high levels of Mercury in energy saving lightbulbs which CAN give off Mercury vapours just like mobile phone masts.

  19. I have drank water straight out of spring in the Highlands of Scotland and believe me it tasted like Dom Perignon in comparison to London tap water. I will let you ponder on this when my former wife a Londoner, who hadn’t let London tap water pass her lips for 10 years or more, quite happily drank water straight out of the tap in Scotland because she preferred the taste! London tap water does taste terrible, it is disgusting.

    You need a reality check mate! Just because you like it, doesn’t mean the rest of us have too. Maybe we have just got better taste than you. Maybe you are addicted to the chemicals that are used to make London tap water drinkable!

  20. This is alarmist rubbish, the Thames water is safe, would you rather drink from the Rhine that has Bayer & Bayer pumping chemicals galore into it. The Thames is cloudy in colour because it’s silty river,it suffers the same problem with Oestragen as most rivers do, but to buy water in plastic containers is to buy water contaminated with Oestragen mimicking chemicals that leached into it from that plastic, you might as well run the tap!

  21. George, there is nothing more I can say that I haven’t already said. I have to agree with the buying water in plastic bottles. I have in fact just bought myself a water filter jug and intend on using that and adding a bit of lemon to tap water to see if that will improve the taste…and hopefully in a few weeks I will still be alive!

  22. I don’t usually agree with people without proper research and/or sources, but my gut agrees with you on this one. I moved to London half a year ago. I’m a healthy person, and I rarely get sick. So far, I’ve been sick three times, and I drink a lot of water.

    Now I have completely stopped drinking tap water, and I feel much better already.

    London is a great city, but very filthy. I blew my nose once couple of hours after the tube, and the tissue was black.

    I miss the clean air in Norway..

  23. Kent, in this my own personal research as to how my body reacts to London tap water is all the research I need to do. I have my own answers!

  24. I agree with you on this Wandering Scotsman, tap water in London is undrinkable. About as bad as it gets!

  25. Trvor, yes you are right. I think for some people it is undrinkable for sure!

  26. This has proved very interesting for me to read, as have the comments. I have been drinking the tap water here since moving down from Scotland in September and have been ill 4 times since then. (I rarely get ill being a 16 year old, full time ballet student).

    I find that after being back in Scotland for half term or full term holidays my skin clears up and I feel a lot healthier. Definitely going to be drinking bottled water from now on and see if it helps.

    Would love to know if big Davy Cameron or Boris drink the tap water.

  27. Gavin M, hopefully bottled water will make a difference, I’m almost certian it will.

    The two clowns probably drink Perrier…

  28. Iv always had my suspicions about london tap water since coming here 2 years ago as a student, it just tasted so ick but i assumed that it was just a tastebud thing since im not from here and thus not used to the taste, i also have a habit of boiling all the water i drink anyway so i wasnt too worried, but recently iv started wondering why filters were so popular when theyre SO expensive compared to just boiling water (on a fixed electricity rentrate anyway)

    seriously, people who think london tap water is indistinguishable from clean ‘pure’ water like those from springs, whaaaa?? different harmless chemicals used to clean water can make water taste weird at worst, but london tap water actually tastes RANK

    anyway, im more interested in getting filters than the trouble of buying bottled water (also considering the environmental cost of bottles), could anyone recommend a good filter and why its good (so confusing with all the stuff about chemicals/osmosis blahblah)

  29. I have lived in London all my life, and have always drank tap water, and (touch wood) have always been ok. I do drank tap water occasionally and don’t become ill, and usually make my tea with it (so the water is boiled) but rarely drink it straight from the tap. But I don’t trust it at all. A few times I’ve opened the tap only to see yellow coloured water running out the tap, we still don’t know why this happened or how it stopped because the next day the water was back to normal, I’ve see this happen in someone else’s house who lives in the same estate. Since then I’ve been put off tap water, despite the fact I still drink it when I have to.

    The only time I remember being ill after drinking tap water was when I swallowed quite a large quantity of water from the bathroom when brushing my teeth as a child, which was undrinkable, I was vomiting horribly the next day and had very bad stomach pains, but never actually been ill by drinking the regular tap water that comes straight fro the mains.

  30. Violet M, the hastle of buying bottled water and the fact they are in palstic bottles which can’t be a good thing made me see the light and buy a water filter. And London tap water tasting good… I think those who say that are delusional lunatics!

    Chris, I think the problem could well be how the tap water arrives in our cup or glass, the water pipes. I have recently bought a water filter and that seems to working like a dream. I haven’t had any problems so far, no sore throats…

  31. I totally agree with you William. The London water tastes disgusting and literally makes me feel sick. I was in South Africa for the last year, and came back to Lomdon. Even though I was using a filtering jug, I was feeling sick a lot of the time & couldn’t understand why. I noticed it was around mealtime & thought it was something I was eating. (I drink water with my meals) The last staw was when I went to my local coffee shop and had 3 cups of green tea. I felt so sick after that I immediately booked an appointment to see a nutritionist. I thought maybe I w intolerant or allergic to something. After seeing her nothing improved. Then I thought, maybe it’s the water (despite having a water filter and boiling the water) so I bought a large bottle of Evan to test my new theory. To my dismay, I went for a whole day without feeling sick (which was a first in 6 weeks). I’ve been drinking bottled water ever since and feel great (not feeling sick at all). I just had a sip of tap water as I’m at cafe Nero (where they give you free water in a jug) and felt sick literally immediately (not to mention the horrific taste) and my stomach suddenly feels terrible. That’s when I thought I’d google London tap water to find out what’s been said on the subject & found your article. I think I’m going to start washing my face with bottled water too as my skin has also broken out beyond belief.

  32. Chole, I think London tap water effects some people more badly than others. I know all about that sick feeling from drinkng tap water I get that same feeling!

  33. Hi I was just talking to my partner from Coventry I am from Kent, we both now live in London about the horrible taste of water, strangely despite being a bit over the top a lot of what you say is true, sometimes tap water makes us feel sick and frequently has a chlorine taste which ruins tea. The picture of the thames are a bit unfair as the tidal reaches obviously get mixed with sea water twice a day. Drinking water is taken upstream from London. The limescale in hard water is not put there as part of the treatment it comes from the underlying chalk or limestone. A blind taste is a one off but the taste from the taps varies from day to day And house to house. with regard to bathroom taps a lot of homes have a tank in the roof for bathroom taps and as you dont know whats fallen into the tank you shouldnt drink the water, I am going to use filtered water to drink to see if my sore throat gets better.

  34. I have started drinking filtered water and it definitley tastes a hell of a lot better. London tap water becomes drinkable for sure…


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