Be careful using Bangkok water vending machines

Travellers in Bangkok looking to play it safe by purchasing their drinking water from vending machines may actually be at risk of consuming unclean water.

Water filling stations in Bangkok may not be adequately clean.

Water filling stations in Bangkok may not be adequately clean. Image by Karl Baron / CC BY 2.0

According to Thai media reports, a survey by the Independent Organisation for Consumers Protection took samples from almost 900 of the coin-operated machines used to dispense drinking water from taps into a bottle for a fee.

But, the report found that more than three-quarters of the machines were situated in areas where they are covered by dust from traffic and exhausts, or near garbage bins and waste water ditches.

Over half of the machines were found to have unclean bodies, about 43% had unclean valves and almost 30% were rusted, according to ThaiPBS English. Only about 43% were given monthly cleanings.

Those consuming water are advised to check the condition and surroundings of the machines, but perhaps sealed water bottles may be a safer bet.

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