Is it safe to drink tap water in Spain?

99.5% of all public tap water in Spain is safe to drink according to international water quality standards. But there are issues such as taste and smell from chlorine by-products and local pipe contaminants. Near the coast there is usually higher levels of minerals from rivers and groundwater, which is not dangerous, but the water will not taste good. In our experience the water quality in most of the Alicante area is OK, but some cities, Altea old town is a good example, we would not recommend drinking tap water without filtration. The pipes are to old to guaranty safe drinking water.

There is a growing concern about microplastics which is found in more than 80% of all tap water in Europe. The microplastics come from plastics and plastic fibres that break down and leech into the water sources. Add to this that chlorine is not good for you and you really should have a filtration system in your home.

For many it seems bottled water is an easier solution than to take the step to install a filter. Some might even think bottled water is safer and healthier, but there is no evidence of this, contrary, bottled water might be worse for you than the water in your tap. And bottles are defiantly worse for the environment, in Spain people consumed around 7 billion plastic bottles in 2019. Only 30% gets recycled, so this have a huge impact on the environment. Actually, only 20% of plastic bottles produced in Spain are made of recycled plastics.

So why don’t people install a filtration system? Many probably think the cost is too high, but with the average household in Spain spending over €300 per year on bottled water most families will save money with a filter. We don’t even think there need to be any savings, each and one of us need to take action now to try and save the environment, a filtration system is a huge step in the right direction.

Note; during extreme weather (Gota Fria) there will often be warnings against tap water as the water magazines and pipes are flooded with dirt water. If you are told to boil the water before consumption please follow the advice unless you have a filter which stops bacteria. Most water filters do not remove all of the bacteria, its primary function is to remove chlorine, metals, plastic and to soften the water. Chlorine added to the water will under normal circumstanses kill all the bacteria. Installing an ultraviolet light water purifier will kill all bacteria, but is normally not needed in Spain.