Can you drink the tap water in Alicante? Why does it taste so bad? What are the common contaminants and issues? What is the best water filter for Alicante? Is bottled water healthier?
In this article we will answer these questions and a few more. For a summary jump to the end.
Where does the tap water in Alicante come from?
The tap water comes from ground water aquifers (about 30% of supply), surface water bought from other regions (Taibilla and Tajo-Segura) and desalination plants. This combination makes it possible to meet supply, although there is always an inherent shortage.
The Alicante area is classified as semi-arid, with scarce and irregular rainfall, no local surface water (lakes or rivers) and very high demand in the summer when the population increases from 335,000 to more than 800,000 at any time. The water is provided by Aguas de Alicante.
The water coming out of the tap is hard, rich in minerals and usually has a high levels of chlorine to keep it safe. This means that it has a poor aftertaste for many people. Therefore a majority in the region drink bottled water.
Is the tap water in Alicante safe to drink?
The tap water in Alicante has a bad reputation but it generally meets strict EU and WHO standards. In the cases where these quality targets are not met, people are warned not to drink the water.
Water quality is analysed daily and reported monthly. Results for the different water quality parameters in your area can be found on Aguas de Alicante free of charge.
Other known issues are:
- People with very sensitive stomachs may experience some problems the first couple of days of drinking the water.
- According to recent reports and OCU tests a few years ago the water had THMs above the recommended levels.
- There have also been cases where the local authorities advised against drinking the local water due to temporary issues with the water supply (for example winter storms). Watch out for this.
In summary, you can usually safely drink the tap water in Alicante but watch out for local warnings. If you don’t like the taste then get a high quality water filter such as TAPP 2 which costs as little as €60 per year.
Historically, tap water in Alicante was of poor quality, and therefore many people only drink bottled water today. However, this is no longer an issue as the tap water has vastly improved after Spain joined the EU.
Bottled water is generally safe to drink. Mineral water specifically is held to strict standards similar to tap water. When drinking bottled water, choose a local brand as this minimises the CO2 footprint of transportation.
Alicante also has good recycling facilities for plastic. The issue unfortunately is that most households and businesses don’t sort plastic properly and therefore 80% of plastic bottles end up in landfills and incineration plants. The plastic leeches and breaks down into micro-plastics, which eventually end up in rivers and oceans and animals, entering our own food chain.
The only real solution to reduce the environmental impact of plastics is to avoid plastic in the first place. Get an affordable water filter such as TAPP and a refillable water bottle and you will save hundreds of euros per year (and the planet).
Tap water in Alicante: Public places, restaurants and bars
Most public places only serve bottled water, but will provide tap water if you ask for it. If you are going to buy bottled water, ask for glass if possible and refuse straws. There are many water fountains in and around Alicante and the water from these is safe to drink and meets the EU water quality standards, unless it says otherwise.
Despite warnings online and from locals, the tap water is as safe to drink as bottled water.
A couple of pro tips:
- If you’re worried about the quality then as for a report from the local water company or visit our water quality database on water.tappwater.com
- Don’t like the taste of tap? Then buy a high quality home water filter like TAPP 2, save money and the environment
- Conserve water whenever you can, as the Alicante region always has water shortage
- Ask for tap water in bars and restaurants or water bottled in glass instead of plastic
Let us know if you have questions or comments. We are always happy to help. [email protected]