Can you drink the tap water in Istanbul? Is it safe for locals and tourists? What is the best water filter for Istanbul?
Istanbul – the city on the Bosphorus attracts millions of tourists every year. Hardly any city is so exciting and so full of contrasts. While you have hip bars and clubs in Beyoglu, you are still a few meters away in Eminönu, which is traditionally almost untouched, still completely in the Ottoman flair. Have you planned your next city trip to the Turkish metropolis?
Here are the key facts about the city’s tap water.
Can I drink tap water in Istanbul?
If you ask the locals, the answer is usually “no, the tap water is not drinkable”. The residents of Istanbul usually have huge canisters of water delivered to their homes and many have installed expensive water filter devices.
Water for on the go is usually bought in the next kiosk around the corner, the price: between 8 and 15 cents. People who dare to drink tap water are usually viewed as strange; in restaurants, tap water is never offered.
So is the tap water in Istanbul safe to drink?
Paradoxically, the tap water in Istanbul is drinkable. The Turkish government has been running campaigns for some time in order to convince the residents that the tap water is drinkable. Thanks to this tap water is generally of higher quality than bottled water. Tap water goes through rigorous testing by the local water supply company every day. Bottled water doesn’t.
Why do people not trust the tap water in Istanbul?
The problem is that city residents don’t trust the water to be drinkable. As recently as 10 years ago, the city’s water supply was unable to supply drinkable water. The water had a very unpleasant smell and taste, often caused diarrhea, the authorities classified the water as non-drinkable and harmful to the human body, which burned deep into the minds of the residents. These psychologically anchored habits are difficult to change.
The idea that the water is still not drinkable is reinforced by the fact that tap water still has a “strange” taste in some parts of the city. However, the water is safe for human consumption.
The poor taste is caused by the addition of chlorine by the local water supply companies, similar to other Mediterranean cities such as Barcelona or Rome. The disinfection is generally considered completely safe.
Another issue is old and poorly maintained pipes. Because even if the water is safe to drink when it leaves the water treatment plant, this doesn’t mean that it’s still safe when it leaves the tap. Common tap water contaminants include rust from pipes and other organic substances.
What is the best water filter for Istanbul?
If you don’t trust the local tap water or simply dislike the taste of the local tap water then a high quality water filter will solve the problem for you. TAPP Water Filters have been specifically designed and tested for Istanbul water. TAPP 2, the best water filter for Turkey is now available on tappwater.com.tr.
Read more about how TAPP Water filters work.
Why should I drink tap water at all when bottled water is so cheap?
First of all it’s not that cheap when you add up the cost over a year. The average household consumes about 1.5 liter drinking water per day per person. The cost of bottled water in Turkey is approximately 0.15 euro (1.10 lira) per bottle. For a household of 5 this adds up to €274 (2000 Lira) per year.
Secondly plastic consumption in Istanbul and Turkey in general is out of control. The Turkish government cannot most of the plastics consumed or the quantities and it therefore exports a considerable amount to Asia. Only 9% of the plastic bottles are actually recycled. Many plastic particles end up in the ocean, disintegrate into microplastics, absorbed by fish and then consumed by humans. To put an end to this process, we must try to avoid plastic as much as possible.
- Tap water in Istanbul is generally safe to drink with similar quality to bottled water
- Many people in Istanbul are concerned about the water quality and taste and therefore buy bottled water
- If you have concerns about the tap water quality or taste then use a high quality water filter such as TAPP 2 for clean tasty tap water
- There is no scientific evidence that bottled water is safer than tap water
- TAPP Filters are now available in Turkey on tappwater.com.tr
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