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Thailand - Water

The tap water in Thailand is not considered to be safe to drink. This is mainly due to the fact that many pipes are old and could be polluted, or the water could pick up pollution at source. Suitable drinking water is supplied in 20 litre bottles, from a source which is regulated by the government, and these can be purchased at a number of outlets. In addition there are water dispensers which can be purchased (similar to those found in most offices) and water bottles can be supplied by a private company. You can also purchase bottled mineral water at most supermarkets and other shops.

There has been increased demand for water in Thailand in recent years and parts of the country do experience droughts. There have also been a number of floods in other areas. This has led to shortages in some areas and it is expected that these will become more frequent in the future. It has been estimated that around 80% of the population in urban areas have access to piped drinking water that has been treated and there are systems in place to raise this figure much higher over the next few years. The figure is only around 70% in urban areas.

There are two mains water suppliers in Thailand. The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand (known as MWA) is responsible for piped water to the areas in and around Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan. In all other areas the water is supplied by the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA). Both of these are regulated by the government and there are currently measures in place to improve the quality of the water that is supplied to homes. Repairs to pipes are often carried out within 24 hours of a leak being reported and payments are processed fairly quickly.

Becoming connected to the supply is relatively straightforward. It is simply a case of contacting the nearest water board office to you and giving your details. You should note that a week’s notice is the minimum required in order to have the supply connected.

In some areas people use holding tanks or wells to supply their homes with water, although this is mainly in rural areas. In order to pay a bill there are several options available. These include going to the MWA offices and making a payment over the counter using cash, cheque or payment card. Another option is to use the payment services agents, although these will only take cash. Agents include post offices, branches of the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and other marked pay points. Some outlets will charge for processing the payment.

The amount can be deducted from your bank account via the direct debit system. The water authorities can set up a direct debit with most Thai banks. Alternatively you can make the payment over the telephone or via the internet using a debit or credit card.

Useful Resources

Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand (MWA)
Tel: 1125 (within Thailand)
Email: mwa1125@mwa.co.th

Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA)
Tel: 1567 (within Thailand)

Read more about this country

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