Is Toilet Water Safe to Drink?

Toilet water is clear and looks fresh much like the water that comes out of the kitchen tap, and the taps in your bathroom. But, the plumbing systems of homes are located behind the walls, and under the floor so it’s difficult to see exactly where the water comes from. Today, I will explain whether toilet water is safe to drink.

As a general rule toilet water is safe to drink. But, if you have a greywater recycling system in your home, then toilet water is not safe to drink. You will be aware if you have a greywater system in your home because it requires special procedures. Toilet water directly from the bowl is not safe.

Below, I will provide a complete rundown of where the water in your toilet tank comes from, so you can rest assured it’s safe to drink. I’ll also explain how it differs from hot water that comes out of faucets and the shower and bath.

Where Toilet Water Comes From [& Is the Same As Tap Water]

Toilet water fills up the water tank in a toilet. A wall-mounted toilet has a water tank that’s located behind the wall, whereas, a floor-mounted toilet has a water tank that is located on the top and to the back of the toilet bowl. But, where does toilet water that enters the tank come from?

municipal water supply

Toilet water comes from cold water lines that are diverted from the municipal water supply. It’s the same water that flows into all of the faucets in a home. But, not if you have a grey water system. You will be aware if you have one of these because you will need to use special soap.

Some kitchens are fitted with filters either on the counter or under the sink. The water that comes out of a water filtration system is different from what flows into the water tank for a toilet due to the fact that it passes through a water filter first.

A toilet bowl has waste that gets in an around it on a regular basis. It’s not recommended to get in contact with urine or feces as it can make you sick (source). Therefore, water in the toilet bowl is not drinkable. 

Water in the toilet bowl is not drinkable

It’s not uncommon for a family dog to drink directly from a toilet bowl. Hopefully, not before it decides to lick your face. However, water taken directly from the toilet water tank is drinkable. The one issue can be if there is mold growing in your toilet water tank

molds and hard water deposits in toilet tank

It’s very common for mold and hard water deposits to accumulate on the interior of a toilet water tank. If your dog has a habit of drinking water from the toilet bowl it’s a good idea to close the toilet lid after every use.

This will be clearly visible as discoloration, and patches of material growing under the lid of the toilet water tank, and the sides of your toilet water tank. Many molds are toxic, therefore, if you’re toilet water tank has discoloration on the inside, then you should avoid drinking toilet water.

What greywater is and why it’s not drinkable

Greywater is water that has been lightly used and can be reused. It’s a method of plumbing that conserves water. 

Often, water in a home can be lightly used, and it’s a bit of a waste for it to go into the sewage, especially for things like flushing the toilet. 

recycled water from grey recycling system

Greywater is water from the shower or bath, vanity unit, and washing machine. A greywater recycling system has a range of rules and requires you to use water differently. Therefore, if you have one of these you will know about it. For example, if a person in your home is sick, you typically stop using greywater. Due to where greywater comes from, it’s not drinkable.

What the Difference Is Between Toilet Water and Hot Water

There is hot water that comes out of the bathtub faucet, shower, and other faucets around your home. Due to the fact that the plumbing system in a home is not visible, it can often be a bit of a mystery where the water comes from. Here’s the difference between toilet water and hot water.

Overall, hot water and toilet water come from the same source. Which is the municipal water supply. The source of the water is exactly the same. But, before hot water comes out, it’s fed into a hot water cylinder where it is heated by gas or an electric element.

shower with electric water heater

Therefore, the only difference between toilet water, and hot water is that hot water is heated before use. You can also drink hot water the same way you can water from the toilet water tank.

How Dirty Is Toilet Water

Toilet water can be found in two places, the toilet bowl, and the toilet water tank. A toilet is considered unclean because human feces and urine pass through it regularly. But, how dirty is toilet water really?

As a general rule, toilet water is not dirty at all. Toilet water in the water tank comes from the same place as water that comes out of the faucets in a kitchen, bathroom, and the water that comes out of the shower. However, water in the toilet bowl should be considered unclean.

A toilet bowl is not perfectly clean. There can be bacteria, minor amounts of fecal matter (poop), and urine. After the toilet is flushed small amounts of urine on the sides of the bowl can be washed into the bowl, and be present in the water.

Black mold can also be growing inside a toilet, underneath the rim, and in the space at the top of the toilet bowl that the water passes through before coming out on the underside of the rim. After a toilet has been cleaned, there can be minor amounts of harsh chemicals present in the toilet bowl water. For all of these reasons, water in the toilet bowl is not safe to drink.

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