Dental chair units (DCUs) are used in the treatment of many patients throughout each day and microbial contamination of specific component parts is an important potential source of cross-infection. The quality of dental unit water is of considerable importance since patients and dental staff are regularly exposed to water and aerosols generated from the dental unit. This water hosts a diverse microflora of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, protozoa, unicellular algae and nematodes which may be contaminated with micro-organisms found in the biofilm formed due to water stagnation in the narrow-bore dental unit waterline (DUWL) tubings. The water thus contaminated, when used for various treatment procedures through dental handpieces, air/water/three-in-one syringe, etc., produces aerosols that can cause infection. The present review emphasises the risks of infection from DUWL and various water treatment procedures available to disinfect the DUWLs.