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Is Hotel Water Safe to Drink in America? Solved!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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We all take water for granted, but what happens when you can't trust the water coming out of the tap?
If you're like most people, when you travel, you drink bottled water. This is because it's easier and more convenient than figuring out if the local water is safe to drink. But what about when you're staying at a hotel? Is the water in the hotel room safe to drink?

The answer is: it depends. While most hotels in America have safe water, there are some exceptions. In general, you're more likely to run into problems with water safety in less developed countries. But even in the US, hotel water has been contaminated with bacteria or other pollutants.

If you're concerned about hotel water's safety, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Check the Hotel's Rating

Hotel star rating concept

When booking a hotel room, it's important to check the hotel's rating. The higher the rating, the more likely it is that the hotel meets basic standards of cleanliness and safety. One important thing to look for is a notice from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA requires hotels to post a notice if their water isn't safe to drink. This notice should be posted in a visible location, like the lobby or near the elevators. If you don't see a notification, assume that the water is safe to drink. However, it's always a good idea to ask at the front desk just to be sure. You can also check online reviews to see if other guests have had any problems with the water quality.

2. Research the Local Water Quality

When traveling to a new place, it's always important to do your research in advance. This is especially true when it comes to the local water quality. Even if a hotel has safe water, you may still want to avoid drinking it if the local water quality is poor. The best way to find out is to do a quick Google search. You can also ask the hotel staff for more information. In general, you're more likely to run into problems with water safety in less developed countries. But even in the US, there are areas with poor water quality.

3. Call the Hotel and Ask About their Water Safety Policies

Hotel receptionist on a phone call looking at the bookings on system smiling

If you're still concerned about the water in your hotel room, the best thing to do is to call the hotel directly and ask about their water safety policies. Most hotels will be happy to answer any questions you have. And if they're not, that's a red flag. You should also ask about the hotel's filter system and how often the filters are changed. This will give you a good idea of how safe the water will likely be.

4. Bring Your own Bottled Water

The safest way to ensure that you're drinking safe water is to bring your own bottled water with you. This is especially important if you're traveling to a less developed country. But even in the US, it's not a bad idea to avoid caution and bring your water. That way, you'll know for sure that you're drinking safe water.

5. Use Only Boiled or Bottled Water for Brushing Your Teeth

Two bottles of mineral water in the hotel room, as well as clean glasses on a tray

Even if the water in your hotel room is safe to drink, you should still avoid using it for brushing your teeth. This is because it's easy for bacteria to get into your mouth through your toothbrush. Using tap water to brush your teeth, use only boiled or bottled water. And be sure to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly afterward. You can also use mouthwash to kill any bacteria on your toothbrush.

6. Avoid ice cubes and fruits or vegetables washed in tap water

Another way to reduce your risk of exposure to contaminants is to avoid ice cubes and fruits or vegetables that have been washed in tap water. Ice cubes can be contaminated with bacteria, and fruits or vegetables can absorb contaminants from the water. If you're unsure whether the ice or produce in your hotel room is safe, it's best to avoid it. While the risk of getting sick from contaminated water is low, it's still better to be safe than sorry.

7. Take extra care of existing medical conditions

If you have an existing medical condition, it's essential to take extra care to avoid contaminated water. This is because you may be more susceptible to illness. If you're unsure whether drinking water in your hotel room is safe, ask your doctor in advance. They can give you specific advice for your situation. It's also a good idea to bring along any medications you may need in case you get sick.

8. Be aware of the symptoms of waterborne illness

The symptoms of waterborne illness can vary depending on the type of contaminant. But in general, you may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever if you drink contaminated water. If you develop any of these symptoms after drinking hotel water, you must see a doctor immediately. This is especially true if you have a medical condition that could be impacted by contaminated water.

9. Use Common Sense

Modern white hotel bathroom sink with faucet

As with anything, using common sense is the best way to avoid contaminants. If the water in your hotel room doesn't look or smell right, don't drink it. And if you're unsure about the safety of the water, it's always best to err on the side of caution and avoid it. You can never be too careful when it comes to your health.

Water safety is an important issue, both in the US and around the world. While the risk of contracting a waterborne illness is low, it's still important to take precautions to ensure that you're drinking safe water.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you to stay safe and healthy while traveling. And remember, if you have any concerns about the water in your hotel room, the best thing to do is to call the hotel directly and ask about their water safety policies.

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