"Tap Water in Munich is Better than Many Bottled Waters"- The German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest (foundation for tests of goods)
When you live in a country or city where the tap water is generally good, you tend to take it for granted. But considering that 2/3 of our bodies are made up of water we should take more interest. Just because the tap water was safe 20 years ago also doesn't mean that it's safe today. New contaminants are constantly found with the most recent being PFAS and microplastics. There are also risks that your local pipes leech contaminants such as lead and copper or that chlorine combined with organic materials turn into THMs and other VOCs.
With this in mind "Can you drink Munich tap water"? Is it safe to drink straight from the tap? Yes, tap water in Munich is generally safe to drink and healthier than bottled water. If you are concerned about the pipes or more recent found contaminants such as microplastics then it can be a good idea to use a high quality water filter in Munich.
Avoid bottled water if you can as it's bad for the environment, not proven to be healthier and a waste of money.
Where Does the Tap Water in Munich Come From?
The tap water in Munich has a variety of sources – but mainly, it comes from the Alps. For this reason, tap water in Munich is not only safe to drink, but also contains a lot of minerals. Considering that the source is relatively far from the city, it is not as polluted compared to many other big cities.
Some people say that because the source in the mountains, the level of chalk (limescale) is high. However, you will not notice any sediments as the water is treated by the water suppliers. The main water suppliers is M-Wasser – a supplier that brings water to over 1.4 million residents in Munich. Transporting the water directly from the Alps, the water goes through rigorous filtering processes to ensure any harmful contaminants are removed.
Thanks to the low level of bacteria in the source water it doesn’t need as much chlorine as most European countries. Therefore the taste of the water is relatively fresh to most people.
Is Munich Tap Water Clean and Drinkable?
Yes, the tap water in Munich is clean and drinkable and better than most bottled waters. Simply put, while the tap water in Munich doesn’t go through many treatments, it is not because of lack of resources. It’s because there is no need for the water to receive additional treatment.
Before being sent into the tap lines, the Munich tap water is tested for cleanliness and safety. every day by M-Wasser. According to some tests it's among the best tap water in Europe. This is likely the reason why Germans are so proud of their tap water. For latest water test results see here.
Considering that the water is fresh from the mountains, it might be harder compared to the water that you are used to. The mineral content is actually higher than most "mineral water".
This type of water could actually contribute to better health.
What Do Locals Say Regarding Munich Tap Water?
As mentioned above Munich tap water is safe to drink. Many Bavarians are also proud of the purity of their tap water. However, still most people in Munich– and elsewhere in Germany – refuse to drink tap water. You will be surprised to know that it has nothing to do with the water quality.
Instead the problem lies in the german word for tap water referred to as
“Leitungswasser”. – and its literal translation is “plumbing water.” To them, that sounds slightly better than sewer water – but the sound of it still makes German folk avoid it.
This is why you will likely see people in Germany declining tap water in restaurants or other places. They will choose the sparkling mineral bottled water because it sounds better than “plumbing water" and because they think mineral water is healthier and more refreshing.
Furthermore, people seem to choose bottled water since it is believed all bottles are recycled. In truth, only 20% of those bottles end up being recycled into new bottles – and the CO2 emissions from the recycling process is also an issue.
Technically speaking, there should be no reason for you to drink bottled water. Tap water is just as good as bottled water – and often even better, since it contains more minerals. Tap water also goes through more rigorous testing and controls.
How Can I Test the Tap Water in Munich?
There are several labs that will allow you to test your tap water. Generally speaking, it should not be needed – since tap water in Munich is good to drink. However, if you are concerned about the plumbing of your home or your house is off the grid then it will be good to test it. One test lab is Stiftung Warentest.
Should We Choose Bottled Water Instead of Munich Tap Water?
No, there is no reason why anyone should choose bottled water instead of tap water. Tap Water is more convenient, cheaper, just as healthy and the environmentally-friendly option. Restaurants will want to sell you bottled water but if you ask for tap water they will generally serve it.
Should Tourists Go for Bottled Water When Visiting Munich?
No. There is absolutely no evidence that tourists will get more sick from tap water than bottled water in Munich. Bacteria can get into the bottled water as well and bottled water contains http://tappwater.co/how-to-filter-and-remove-microplastics-2/ more microplastics than tap water.
Do I need a water filter in Munich?
As per the introduction water is the essence of life and makes up 2/3 of our body. Therefore everyone should be concerned about the quality of the water we consume. Unfortunately humans have managed to pollute almost every corner of the world with microplastics and other chemicals. Every year we identify new pollutants in the tap water and risks to human health.
A water filter for Munich tap water will cost as little as €60 per year and ensure that you and your family has clean fresh tap water from the tap every day. So do you need a water filter in Munich? Maybe not but it's a cheap insurance in case it turns out for example microplastics cause long term health issues.
What is the best water filter for Munich tap water? There are several options ranging from EcoPro that is simple to use and affordable to reverse osmosis and distillation filters that cost many hundred euros.
- Tap water is safe to drink in Munich as far as we know at the moment
- Avoid bottled water if you can as it's bad for the environment and doesn't have any proven benefits versus tap water
- If you want to be on the safe side install a high quality tap water filter for as little as €60 per year it in the long term.
Here are a couple of the sources for this article:
Tap Water Quality in Munich: https://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Tap_water_quality
Why do locals drink bottled water? https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/79127/is-tap-water-in-munich-safe-to-drink-if-so-why-do-locals-buy-bottled-water
Drinking water in Munich and the rest of Bavaria: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187309-i118-k7373126- Drinking_water-Munich_Upper_Bavaria_Bavaria.html
Tap water is better than bottled water: http://www.total-munich.com/201607291030/blog/news/tap-water-in-munich-better-than-many-bottled-waters.html
Why Germans don't drink tap water: https://language101.com/german/about-germany/why-germans-dont-drink-tapwater