Drink the water?

Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:34 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drink the water?

I know that everybody in Europe drinks bottled water, but say one got in a bind and had nothing but an empty cup and a hotel room sink--what is the drinkability level of the tap water in Europe (Italy and France, particluarly)?
ecorunner is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:47 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Everybody in Europe drinks bottled water,"???

Just a cupful will not likely be noticed in the least.

Bottled water is highly recommended if you have a "senstive" "system". Otherwise, the tap water throughout Italy and France is just fine.
djkbooks is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:32 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lived in Italy for four months...drank tap water the whole time. Not a problem - just steer clear of the street fountains.
kateny17 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:36 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I drink water, I usually drink bottled but I always use the tap water if I am brushing my teeth or that sort of thing..when we were in the Paris apt, I used tap water for the coffee and tea. I think you will be fine unless your stomach is reeeally touchy.
Scarlett is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:54 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rome has the best-tasting tap water in the world, IMO! Drank it the whole time we were there, and it is wonderful.
lizziea06 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:54 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tap water is fine in the U.K., in fact good enough for Coca Cola to bottle it and call it Dansai, until they were caught out by the media and the whole lot taken off sale.
henneth is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:33 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
kateny17, which "street fountains" are you specifically referring to? My Roman friends have all told me that the water flowing out of those drinking fountains and spouts around the city is the best water around, as it is coming from underground wells and the nearby mountains via aqueduct system. It is the coldest, most delicious water I have ever tasted and I noticed many, many Romans doing the same thing as I (filling up our water bottles daily).

Yes, lizziea06, I would agree that Rome has the best tasting water in the world!
Huitres is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 01:29 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not a question of being in Italy or France, it's more a question of the specific city that you are visiting.

Large cities tend to have safer water, simply because the city cannot afford to make large numbers of people sick, and there's a lot of movement in and out of the city. So in a place like Rome or Paris, you're safe. In some big cities the water might have a funny taste or even a smell, but it's still safe (Paris water has no obvious taste or smell because the city employs people specifically for the purpose of checking it for any unpleasant odors and smells, and because it's mostly spring water, anyway).

Small towns are a different matter. Some get very clean water from reliable supplies, others get very questionable water from dubious sources. Small towns can't afford fancy water treatment or testing, either. If the water contains stuff that the locals are used to but you aren't, you might get sick. In small towns, then, you might wish to avoid the tap water unless you can be pretty confident that it is coming from a safe source.

All of these applies anywhere, not just in France or Italy. In the UK, the US, or Japan, you should follow the same guidelines. NYC is probably plenty safe, but Smallville might not be.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 01:36 AM
  #9  
oldie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What was funny about the Coca Cola water thing was that they took perfectly good tap water and added pollutants.

The best bit was where they tried to make a shopkeeper remove Buxton water from their display.
The shop was in Buxton
 
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 03:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,016
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>All of these applies anywhere,
In Germany, you can be sure, that tap water is safe to drink no matter how big or small the town is. No problem anywhere! If you musn't drink the water from a public fountain, there will be a sign saying "Kein Trinkwasser". (no drinking water). And btw. Munich tap water is the best on the planet. ;-) Add some gas and you'll have water cleaner and better tasting than any high priced "mineral water". (Ever noticed how many h2co3- cartridges are sold everyday).
logos999 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 05:54 AM
  #11  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,072
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would disagree with your original premise that "everybody in Europe drinks bottled water", implying that tap water isn't safe.

Many Europeans drink bottle water with meals not because tap water is not potable, but rather because of culinary tradition and taste preference. Everywhere I've been in Europe, from N-S, E-W, the tap water has been perfectly drinkable.

Actually, based on sales of bottled water, services like Culligan, etc, I believe Americans actually drink more bottled water than Europeans...
J62 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #12  
cmt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would go ahead and drink the tap water. I DO drink tap water in Italy and France. If it isn't safe to drink, e.g., in some public bathrooms, there will be a sign saying so (but anyway I'd avoid drinking the tap water in a public toilet). Actually, I try not to drink TOO much bottled water at the beginning of a trip. Since the bottled water in Italy generaly has a much higher mineral content than the bottled spring water I'm used to at home, I'm more likely to have digestive upsets from too much magnesium-rich mineral water than from potable tap water.
cmt is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 07:05 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 837
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think AnthonyGA is wrong about the UK. Cold tap water is safe to drink in any size town or village. In some places it may have a taste you dislike due to hardness and I suppose this might upset a really delicate stomach, but it will be safe.

In a very few isolated houses you may find that they have a private supply from a spring or well, but these are subject to regular tests required by law. This water is often marvellous.

I would never drink water from a hot tap, unless it was from a special boiler for drinking.
wasleys is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 07:10 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I eagerly drink from street fountains and gulp down tap water, but have recently noticed that my yellow false teeth have started to take on a greenish tint.
degas is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,912
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I would drink only bottled water in Portugal.
kleeblatt is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The UK is no different from anywhere else. Every country has small towns where the water supply is questionable. You're always more likely to catch something in a small town than in a big city. Small towns don't have the means to treat and test water as well as might be ideal. Large cities have the means, as well as the motivation—ten million people with cholera isn't a pretty thought.

However, big-city water won't necessarily be appetizing. The goal is to keep it safe, not to keep it tasty or sweet-smelling.

There are many causes of common diarrhea besides contaminated water. Just changing time zones can upset a person's tummy. A change in diet can do the same thing. So can stress. So can clean water, if it contains a very different blend of minerals. Indeed, suddenly starting to drink mineral water while abroad can cause diarrhea if one has not regularly been a drinker of such water previously.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 08:22 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,016
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>Every country has small towns where the water supply is questionable.
I would doubt that such a town exists in Germany ;-). So please rephrase "Every country, except Germany, has small towns where the water supply is questionable."
I don't know about water saftey in other european countries.
logos999 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 08:29 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sometimes it's not the "safety" of water that is the question, but the difference in the water and how sensitive your stomach is. Drinking bottled water can help standardized the water you are drinking if you have a sensitive stomach.

I can't drink the water in Florida and parts of Texas, but drank tap water all throughout France. I even give my pups bottled water when we travel along the coast.
starrsville is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 08:32 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 293
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Huitres - the street fountains in Rome may have water that comes directly from acqueducts, but they are used by just about any person and canine walking Rome's streets. Countless times during my time there did I see dogs licking the spouts. I love dogs, but I don't want to share my drinking fountains with them.
kateny17 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 837
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AnthonyGA,

You are just plain wrong. There is no reason whatsoever to doubt the safety of the public water supply in small towns and villages in UK. Apart from anything else many areas are now linked by a grid so the actual source of water in large and small towns may be the same.

As with any supply there are occasions when there is a problem and precautions are advised. But these could be anywhere and really are very rare indeed.

If a tap is marked as 'not drinking water' (eg in toilets in forest areas) it means it is untreated. Otherwise the cold tap is OK.

Collywobbles are, as you say, often the result of factors other than pollution.
wasleys is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -