Can You Drink The Water in Jamaica? (is the Tap Water Safe?)

A photo of a woman turning on a tap, with water flowing out of it suggesting that the water in Jamaica is safe to drink.
Is the tap water in Jamaica safe to drink? – Photo by Marcelo Chagas

I have done my fair share of travelling and one thing that was constantly stressed to me before I stepped foot out of the airport was ‘DO NO DRINK THE TAP WATER’!

That message always stuck with me, surprisingly, I drink tap water here in Jamaica with no problems.

So, if you are coming to island on vacation, I am pretty sure you want to know if you can drink the water in Jamaica?

Of course you can and I will give you a detailed look at why you should not worry.

Is It Safe to Drink Jamaican Tap Water?

The island of Jamaica was once called Xaymaca by the Taino indians and the word translates into the “Land of Wood and Water”. With countless, rivers, streams and waterfalls, Jamaica has a lot of water and the majority of it is fresh.

So is Jamaican tap water safe to drink? ABSOLUTELY!Like many things amazing things about the island,  Jamaica’s tap water quality is among the best in the world.

Basil Fernandez, the then Managing Director of the Water Resources Authority (WRA) stated “You have to remember that our water is not tainted by some of the pharmaceuticals and chemicals found in the water in some countries,”

To reinforce that fact, he stated that “Many cruise ships that visit Jamaica and come from ports such as Miami, get their supply of water from Ocho Rios and not from anywhere else,”

As you can see, tap water in Jamaica is pretty safe and drinkable because of the treatment process. You will have no problem using the water to bathe, brush your teeth, cook and wash your clothes.

To further bring home the point, Jamaica’s water was voted as the best in the Caribbean.

If you’re interested in the water sources & treatment process, visit the National Water Commission.

Can You Drink Tap Water in Kingston, Montego Bay, Negril & Ocho Rios?

The tap water you drink in Kingston is going to have the same quality as that of the popular tourist towns of Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios .

So if you’re staying at a hotel or resort, the water is safe to drink and you really should have no problems with it.

The only time there should be concern is if you are in the more rural areas of Jamaica, where running water is not available.

Because of lack of infrastructure, some of these rural areas have been without tap water and often use rain drums to store their water. In situations like this, it would be advisable to bring with you a couple bottles of water or boil it before consuming it.

It is also probably a good idea to avoid buying mixed or iced drinks on the street, as you do not know how the ice was made and if the water is clean.

Alternatives to Drinking Tap Water in Jamaica

If you are not inclined to drink the w

Local Water Options

A woman choosing a bottle of Catherine's Peak water, one of Jamaica's best bottled water.
Source: Instagram @catherinespeakwater

If for whatever reason you don’t want to  drink the tap water or you just like bottled water, there are tons of brands that offer bottled spring water.

You can find them all over the island from supermarkets, gas stations, roadside shops and restaurants.

Some of the more popular brands are Catherine’s Peak, Lifespan, Nestle and Wata.

Please Note: Read the labels before you buy as some brands offer spring water from the mountains, while others are just filtered tap water.

Imported Water Options

Fiji and other popular water brands are available
Source: Instagram @fijiwater

If you’re still not sold on Jamaican water, you can always purchase water that has been imported into the island.

Depending on the supermarket that you go to, you can easily find popular water brands like: Aquafina, Evian, Fiji and Pellegrino for those who want that high-quality taste.

Wrapping it up

As stated above, Jamaican tap water is comparable in and sometimes better than some of the water that you would be getting in overseas countries. Water is generally safe to drink from faucets throughout the island along with bottled water.

Enjoy the your vacation and what island has to offer. If you are still hesitant, then there are tons bottled water brands that are available, both local and foreign, that should be able to satisfy your thirst.

Photo of author
Jeremy Dixon
Jeremy is a Jamaican writer and traveler who loves highlighting the best of his homeland. He enjoys sharing his experiences to help potential visitors plan their dream vacations. With a passion for Jamaican culture, music, and cuisine, Jeremy is always seeking new adventures to share with his readers.
Categories FAQ

Leave a Comment