Is Using Tap Water for Cooking Safe?

Water is a fundamental ingredient in cooking, used in everything from boiling pasta to brewing coffee. But have you ever stopped to consider the safety of the water you’re using in your kitchen? This question is particularly relevant for those living in urban areas like Bangalore, where tap water is often used for cooking despite the availability of separate drinking water. So, is using tap water for cooking safe? Let’s delve into this topic.

Understanding Tap Water Quality

Tap water quality can vary greatly depending on the location. In many developed countries, tap water undergoes rigorous testing and treatment to ensure it is safe for consumption. However, in developing countries or regions with poor infrastructure, tap water may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Tap Water in Bangalore

In Bangalore, the water supplied by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is treated and is generally considered safe for consumption. However, the quality of the water can be compromised by the condition of the pipes it travels through. Old, corroded pipes can introduce contaminants into the water. Additionally, in some areas, the water supply may be mixed with untreated groundwater, which can also affect its safety.

Using Tap Water for Cooking

When tap water is used for cooking, it is typically heated, which can kill many types of bacteria and viruses. However, heating water does not remove chemical contaminants such as heavy metals or pesticides. Therefore, if you suspect that your tap water may be contaminated with these substances, it is best to use filtered or bottled water for cooking.

Improving Tap Water Safety

If you are concerned about the safety of your tap water, there are several steps you can take. First, consider having your water tested. This can give you a better idea of what contaminants, if any, are present. Second, consider using a water filter. There are many types of filters available, from simple pitcher filters to more complex under-sink or whole-house systems. These can remove a wide range of contaminants, improving the safety and taste of your tap water.


In conclusion, while tap water in many areas is safe for cooking, this is not a guarantee. The safety of tap water can be influenced by many factors, including the quality of the local water supply and the condition of the plumbing in your home. If you have concerns about your tap water, consider having it tested and using a water filter to ensure it is safe for all uses, including cooking.