Can I drink the tap water in Valencia? Why does the water taste so bad? What are the common water contamination issues? What is the best water filter for Valencia? Is bottled water healthier?
Water makes up more than 60% of our bodies so should be given high importance in terms of health and the environment. The average Spanish household consumes about 1500 L of drinking water per year. If you use bottled water today that means carrying home 1.5 tons of water and spending over 300 euro per year.
We’ve researched the drinking water in Valencia including tap and bottled water to answer the most common questions. If you just want the conclusion then jump to the end.
Where does tap water in Valencia come from?
Valencia uses a combination of surface water from the Júcar (Tous reservoir) and the Túria rivers and desalination water (during droughts and shortages).
The northern part of the city is supplied with water from the Manises treatment plant (La Presa de Manises), which purifies surface water from the Turia and Júcar.
The southern part of the city is supplied with water from the Picassent treatment plant, which purifies only surface water from the Júcar (from the Tous reservoir) and which reaches there through the aforementioned canal.
How is the tap water in Valencia treated and regulated?
Global Omnium / Aguas de Valencia is responsible for collection, treatment, distribution and supply of drinking water to more than 3 million people in 300 Spanish municipalities in the Valencia region.
Aguas de Valencia has invested a lot of money over the years in making the tap water safe and clean. The water adheres to strict EU, Spanish and WHO standards and is considered safe to drink. Unfortunately this doesn’t translate into great taste.
The Manises and Picassent plants, the Emshi (Metropolitan Hydraulic Services Entity) has spent millions to reduce as much as possible the bad taste of the water produced by the combination of calcium and chlorine. So far this has resulted in some improvements but most Valencians still prefer bottled water. One challenge is that only 1% of tap water is used for drinking. Therefore making the water taste great is a significant waste as 99% of the potentially better tasting water is used for non-drinking purposes.
But safe to drink according to international standards does not mean that it’s free from contaminants. A study from 2007 indicated that Valencia had among the worst tap water in Spain due to a combination of nitrates, chlorine by-products (THMs) and arsenic. (Source: https://aquadea.es/un-estudio-privado-revela-que-valencia-es-una-de-las-ciudades-con-peor-calidad-del-agua/)
Why does the tap water in Valencia taste so bad?
The purification process is the same as that of any other Spanish city and, however, the result is not the same. Why then does the tap water in Valencia taste 'bad'? The answer can be found in the properties of the land of the river basins from which the drinking water network of Valencia and its metropolitan area is fed: the Júcar and the Túria.
In both cases, the soil is calcareous, that is, with high concentrations of calcium that, with the rains, end up dissolving in the river current. When it rains, the water carries away all that calcium and the river acquires the minerals before reaching the treatment plants. In the purification process, chlorine is added as a disinfectant and the mixture of the two elements gives the water that characteristic flavor. Thankfully this is easily solved with a high quality water filter like EcoPro by TAPP Water
The soil in Madrid and in the Cantabrian Sea (north of Spain) on the other hand is siliceous and does not drag minerals into the water. Therefore there is a big difference in taste between different regions in Spain.
Can you drink the tap water in Valencia?
According to recent surveys only 20% of the population consume tap water in Valencia. Another 15-20% treat it with some type of filter, and the rest consume bottled water. That is a brutal amount of bottled water consumption.” (link: https://elpais.com/espana/2021-03-29/valencia-quiere-fomentar-el-agua-del-grifo.html)
But yes, you can drink the tap water in Valencia. It’s actually more mineral rich (calcium, magnesium and potassium) than most bottled water. Furthermore, water quality data is continuously reported to the Spanish government and the EU and adheres to strict standards.
Do you need a water filter in Valencia?
For most people the answer is probably yes. Filtered water will taste better and is safer for you and your family.
The following table shows an example of the before and after quality of filtered water in Valencia. Visit http://water.tappwater.com and check the local water quality for your postcode.
Chlorine by-products (THMs) have been a prominent issue in much of Spain causing thousands of deaths in Europe every year from colon cancer. EcoPro and EcoPro Compact reduce THMs by over 95% and therefore makes the water significan tsafer.
What is the best water filter for Valencia?
Before developing the EcoPro and EcoPro Compact water filters we spent 5 years on research and development to find the best water filter for Valencia and Spain in general.
We believe that the combination of easy to install, great value for money and eco-friendliness makes EcoPro the best choice for Valencians. EcoPro gives you clean great tasting water while removing most of the limescale. Try it out with 45 days money back warranty.
What about bottled water in Valencia?
Over 60% of households in Valencia consume bottled water today wasting millions of users and polluting the environment. Contrary to popular belief bottled water is not healthier and 9 out of 10 people cannot taste the difference between filtered and bottled water.
Since 2020 the local government has been promoting tap water as the sustainable alternative but without much success. The same goes for the general “Progrifo” spanish campaign to promote tap water. (Source: https://elpais.com/sociedad/2018/09/21/actualidad/1537563041_301808.html)
Summary about tap water in Valencia
- The tap water in Valencia is drinkable although it doesn’t taste good
- An affordable and easy to use water filter such as EcoPro will make the water taste great and safer to drink
- The most common tap water issues are taste, nitrates, microplastics and pipe corrosion (mostly copper)
- Avoid bottled water if you can as it’s bad for the environment, your wallet and there is no evidence that it’s healthier for you