Search icon


13th Nov 2021

Hospital accidentally used toilet water for drinking for nearly 30 years

Steve Hopkins

Japanese hospital served up toilet water

The hospital later claimed the mix-up was no health issue, but surely they’re taking the piss?

Staff and patients at a Japanese hospital accidentally drank toilet water instead of drinking water for almost 30 years without realising it, according to reports.

Osaka University confirmed late last month that some of the tap water pipes in certain areas of the school’s department were implemented incorrectly, meaning that drinking water pipes were connected to the toilet.

Patients and employees had been drinking, washing, and gargling the bog water, the newspaper reported.

A total of 120 taps were deemed faulty, Japanese news outlet Yomiuri Shimbun reported, and given the hospital opened in 1993, the problem had existed for almost 28 years.

The problem went undetected – despite the hospital regularly checking the colour, taste, and smell of the water – and was only uncovered when the hospital prepared to build a diagnosis and treatment building. The mix-up with the pipes was discovered during inspections.

According to reports, the university later claimed the mix-up was no health hazard.

At a press conference, director and vice president Kazuhiko Nakatani apologised for any “anxiety” caused by the problem and promised that the university’s 105 buildings would be checked.

Related links