A Starbucks coffee shop in Hong Kong's Bank of China Tower has prompted a slew of angry responses from customers after the location confirmed via Facebook that it has been using tap water from a faucet near a dilapidated urinal to make coffee since 2011.

"There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that's why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building," Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang said.

Images from Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily show a Starbucks employee pushing a cart into the men's restroom of a parking garage, filling the cart with water and then pushing the cart back to the coffee shop to use the water for coffee drinks - a trip that was made up to seventy times a day. The 'toilet water' was filtered before being used in customer's drinks.

Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said that Starbuck's use of the bathroom water was in violation of the department's regulations, but was the toilet water simply gross to think about or did it pose an actual risk to Starbucks customers?

According to Ben Cowling, associate professor from the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health, the use of the water - even if filtered - did pose a real risk to consumers. While the filtration of the water did do its part to ward off harmful bacteria, smaller-sized viruses could still be present and could only be removed by using a purifier. Cowling also pointed out that frequent trips to the less-than-sanitary restroom could interfere with the cleanliness of the work area at the coffee shop.

"If the staff need to frequently visit the toilet, they may increase the risk of bringing other pathogens from the washroom into their food and drink preparation area," Cowling said.

As the company's Facebook followers began lashing out, calling the location's use of toilet water "disappointing," "disrespectful," and "worrisome," Starbucks released a statement hoping to ease their customer's concerns:

"Please kindly accept our apologies for the concerns raised by the coverage on the water source at the Bank of China Tower store. While the water used at that store was drinking water and certified as safe, we would like to clarify any misperceptions, as quality and safety have always been our top priority. We are now using distilled water to serve that store while we work with all parties on acceptable options."

The Starbucks shop began using bottled water for its drinks last weekend.