In Germany, drinking water is considered to be the number one food item. As part of its most basic provisions, drinking water must not only be free of harmful substances and pathogens, but it must also be 'pure and wholesome' too.
Germany's tap water is perfectly safe to drink! It is rated as one of the cleanest tap waters in the world. The tap water is strictly regulated by the Federal ministry of health as well as the Federal Environment Agency.
Drinking water quality in Germany
In Germany, a high standard is set when it comes to drinking water quality, for the simple reason that if pathogens contaminate the supply, countless people could become ill; therefore, this risk must be reduced to zero.
Across the entire drinking water process chain, including abstraction, purification, and distribution, a higher level of anti-contamination safeguards are used. Building, maintaining and operating drinking water distribution systems in accordance with applicable technical standards entails no risk of contamination from active ingredients or legionella growth.
It is the responsibility of system operators, such as water utilities and building owners and operators, to accomplish this.
Throughout Germany, the authorities responsible for public health monitor the quality of drinking water.
In Germany, drinking water quality is regulated by a law known as the Trinkwasserverordnung, along with additional guidelines, recommendations, and rules.
What is the source of tap water in Germany?
As you know, drinking water is a natural product. 70 percent of it comes from wells and groundwater, 13 percent from reservoirs and rivers, and 17 percent originates from surface water, but is nearly identical to groundwater due to soil passage and bank filtration.
In spite of the fact that the taste of drinking water varies from one location to another depending on the minerals dissolved in it beneath the ground, drinking water should be clear, cool, colour and odor less.
Is bottled water and tap water in Germany different in quality?
In spite of the high quality of tap water in Germany, the love for bottled water is very surprising.
It is not uncommon to find hundreds of different mineral water brands in German supermarkets. The price per liter ranges from 0.25 to 0.70 euros regardless of the minerals it contains.
People prefer bottled water over tap water due to its taste, advertised quality, and added minerals. However, even the expensive bottled water contains a similar amount of minerals compared to the cheapest one. Despite not being advertised, the government regulates that tap water must contain all basic minerals.
Another reason could be that sparkling water is more in demand than normal water or otherwise called still water.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink tap water?
In Germany, some people are concerned about drinking tap water with lead. A pregnant woman or a child who is exposed to lead could particularly be at risk.
Everyone in Germany has the right to have high-quality water at home. If you have concerns about metals in your drinking water, your local health department can provide you with the information.
Pregnant women, infants, and children up to the age of six should never drink water from lead pipes. Avoid using tap water for drinking or food preparation if you feel it has been contaminated with lead. It is recommended to use bottled water marked "Suitable for preparing infant formula" in such cases. It is not logical and safe to use filters to remove lead.
It is not recommended to drink water from the tap if it has not been opened for some time, regardless of the possibility of lead exposure. Let the stagnant water run out of the line until it is cool and comes without color.
Water filters in Germany
In our experience, water from any taps or many public fountains out there in Germany is drinkable. At a few public fountains, we've noticed signs indicating that the water is not drinkable. Unless otherwise stated, you can trust the water and drink it safely.
You might consider getting a water filter if you feel the water from the tap isn't up to par.
Brita is one of the popular water filters in Germany. You can either buy it from Amazon.de or you’ll find different types of Brita water filters in super markets.
Brita water filter costs around 35-40 Euros depending on where you purchase it from. It often comes on deals on Amazon.de.
It comes with one filter cartridge included when you purchase the can. Otherwise one set (4 pieces) of filter cartridge costs around 19,99 Euros. There are also deals on Amazon.de for the filter cartridge set.
AmazonBasics water filter
An alternative to the expensive Brita water filter is the filter made by Amazon’s own brand AmazonBasics. It is the same size, shape and design as Brita water filter. However, it costs much less than Brita. While Brita costs 38.00 Euros on average, AmazonBasics water filter costs only 17,99 Euros.
A three piece AmazonBasics Water Filter Cartridge set cost only 14,00 Euros only which is still 5 euros cheaper than Brita.
We’ve used both AmazonBasics water filter as well as Brita water filter at home and in our experience, the expensive Brita has the quality for the extra amount. The quality, usability, maintainability and more over the taste of the water is much better than the cheaper AmazonBasics water filter.
We know that pure drinking water is very difficult to obtain in some countries including India where I am from. We are very fortunate to live in a country where drinking water is of the highest quality and we are thankful to the government for that.
In my opinion, tap water tastes great and there’s no need to buy bottled water. By not buying plastic bottled water, you are also helping nature.