Can I drink the tap water in Spain?

Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:26 PM
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Can I drink the tap water in Spain?

I have been a successful tap water drinker in the Czech Republic and Italy, and I was planning to drink the water in Spain. (I have a Brita water bottle to improve the taste, if needed.) I recently heard a Montezuma's revenge horror story from someone who went to Spain. Has anybody else had a bad experience?
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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With wine available, why drink water? Seriously, we had no problem with water traveling in Basque country and then over to Barcelona.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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I had an illness upon returning from Spain once, which was presumably enterotoxigenic E. coli (which what is usually meant by "turista" or "Montezuma's revenge"). I ate quite a lot of fruit, unpeeled; unwashed as well, I suppose. Not sure what water I drank.

One anecdote shouldn't influence your decision, nor even two - - but I did learn that time about how potent the drug Flagyl (metronidazole) can be in bringing raopid symptomatic relief. An empathetic physician might prescribe for you a small supply, as a precaution. I don't think it would help to take it prophylactically (but I am not sure). Intended if you DO get it. And you should still see a doctor there if you have acute crampy diarrhea, whether you have metronidazole with you or not.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 05:20 PM
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Yes, absolutely.
I've been drinking it for 32 years now without one bad experience. The water everywhere is fine, although you'll find that in restaurants Spaniards are in the habit of ordering mineral water. But you can usually simply order "una jarra de agua natural", or "agua del grifo", which will bring you a pitcher of tap water. Only occasionally have we found a restaurant that will only serve bottled mineral water.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 08:34 PM
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Of course you can drink the tap water in Spain, don't be so thick. Spain is part of the EEU, it isn't a third-world country.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 10:50 PM
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No problem. Spent time in Madrid,Toledo,Seville,Cordoba,Barcelona etc. etc. and never had a problem.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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I thought the deal with drinking the water wasn't a reflection of water quality, but rather the fact that there is different bacteria than a person's body is accustomed to from their own locale's water (which also has bacteria).
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Your impression is at least partly correct, travelnut - - but that is not "Montezuma's revenge" (i.e., enterotoxigenic E. coli).

What you are talking about can be aggravating but not "disabling".
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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The water in Spain tastes horrible. I drink about 3 liters a day and had to buy water because tap water was disgusting. Tap water in parts of Italy come from mountain streams, and that I could drink straight because of the wonderful taste, but I'd advise to bring an extra filter - you'll need it, especially in the south.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Everyone may have different taste levels for many items, water included. I concur totally with Maribel as to the safety of the water, having lived in Spain for extended periods and drunk the water on a daily business.
I found the comment about the source of Italian water interesting. After Switzerland, Spain has the most mountains per hectare/acre of any European country. Most of the water supply comes from them, even in Madrid. All the water around the Iberian Peninsula is saline and not potable with a desalinization process. Some of the highest peaks in Spain are in Andalucía, in the south. As I said, personal taste is personal taste. But I wouldn't want others to have only one opinion.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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Yes drink it by all means especially if you want to have the shits all week.
Also have ice in drinks.That will help to hospitalise you.
Spain is not a great place for drinking water, Spanish drink it because they are used to the bacteria, we are not.

Muck
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Mucky must be thinking of Peru. You must be very careful of the water there. But coming from the "pure" US, I never have become even slightly ill after drinking the water, brushing my teeth with it, etc. in Spain. Yes, one can become ill with an intestinal problem, even in the States. But Spanish water should NOT cause you problems. Most drinks will not come with ice because Europeans are used to that and cold drinks will have been refrigerated to cool them.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 12:32 PM
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Same as Maribel I have been drinking it for ages, however if you have the chance try
Vichy Catalan, a mineral water thai is avialable in all of Spain, it is absolutely delicious.

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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 06:48 AM
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Hi,
Sorry to disapoint you but living in UK we have the opportunity to visit spain quite often, and Spanish water is recognised here as one of the main causes of sickness whilst on holidays.
In fact UK travel agents recommend that tourists do not drink the water without boiling it first.
Just for information, the Average glass of water in Spain has been through an average of 6 people already...now drink it !!!

Muck
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 05:45 AM
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Hi Nissykins...

I had no problems in the CZ and Italy either. In Spain, I drank it in Barcelona, and now in Sevilla with no major problems, but I concur with a few of the others...it doesn´t taste the best. But it´s not killing me, and saves a few bucks. And if it does make me sick I´ve got runs-stoppers!
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