Can I drink the tap water in Munich?

Can I drink the tap water in Munich?

"Tap Water in Munich is Better than Many Bottled Waters"

The German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest

When you live in a country or city where the tap water is generally good, you tend to take it for granted. But as 2/3 of our bodies are made up of water we should think more about it. Just because the water was safe 20 years ago doesn't mean that it's healthy to drink today.

Tap water suppliers are constantly challenged by new sources of pollution such as PFAS, Nitrates, THMs and most recently microplastics. They might not make you sick today or even this year but with 10s of years of exposure it's possible that these contaminants could be slowly killing us.

With all of this in mind “Can I drink tap water in Munich?” Is it safe to drink straight from the tap?

Yes, Munich tap water is generally safe to drink based on international guidelines such as WHO. However, these guidelines do not take into consideration microplastics or protect you from contaminants in the pipes of your building. So to be on the safe side for you and your family 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 any healthier than tap water and will cost you a lot of money.


With that in mind, let us find out more about the tap water in Munich. You won’t die from it – but will you at least enjoy drinking that water? Well, let’s see.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Munich_-Water_fountain_in_front_of_the_Justizpalast-_5100.jpg


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 it is also refreshing. Considering that the sources are relatively far from the city, it is not as polluted compared to other big cities.

Some people say that because the sources are fairly pure, the level of chalk (lime scale) is also relatively high. However, it is not chalky enough for you to see the sediments; the water is also treated by the water suppliers.

One of these 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 that there are no harmful contaminants. One great thing is that it doesn’t need as much chlorine as many other European countries. This makes the taste of the water is more fresh.

Is Munich Tap Water Clean and Drinkable?

Yes, the tap water in Munich is clean and drinkable – and some would say that it is 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 chemical treatments.

Before being sent into the tap lines, the Munich tap water is tested for cleanliness and safety every day. Compared to samples taken from other German cities Munich tap water scores very high. This is likely the reason why Germans are so proud of their tap water.

Granted, considering that the water is fresh from the mountains, it might be harder compared to the water that you are used to. It contains a lot of minerals At the same time, it is not dangerous. This type of water is actually a good option if you want to improve the health of your heart.
The problem with tap water in Munich is that, unlike other places (such as North America), they do not add fluoride in the water.
This does not make the water any less drinkable – but considering that fluoride deficiency can lead to tooth decay, you might want to take some supplements as well. This should particularly be the case if you are planning to drink this water in the long run.
What Do Locals Say Regarding Munich Tap Water?
Now, Munich is a place where tap water is very safe to drink. Like every German city, the locals are very proud of the purity of their tap water. However, people in Munich – and Germany in general – refuse to drink tap water. And you will be surprised to know that it has nothing to do with the water quality.
Here is where the problem lies: in Germany, tap water is 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 mineral bottled water simply because it sounds better than “plumbing water.”
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 – and the CO2 emissions from the recycling process can actually do you more harm than good.
Technically speaking, there should be no reason for you to drink bottled water. Tap water can be just as good as bottled water – and even better, since it may have more minerals. Tap water also goes through rigorous filtering, making it even better for drinking.
A German would probably never order a glass of tap water – and you certainly won’t receive a complimentary glass in Munich. However, there is no reason why you should avoid it in the comfort of your accommodation.
How Can I Test the Tap Water in Munich?
There are several companies and labs that will allow you to test your tap water. Generally speaking, it should not be the case – since tap water in Munich is good to drink. However, if you are planning to stay for a longer time, or if you have suspicions regarding the plumbing of your home, it would not hurt to do a test. This way, you’ll know whether your body will be able to handle it or not.
There are several labs that you can go for – among which is Stiftung Warentest. It never hurts to know what your water contains, particularly if you are located in an area with bad plumbing.
Should We Choose Bottled Water Instead of Tap Water in Munich?
There is no reason why anyone should choose bottled water instead of tap water – particularly considering that it comes from such a good source. Plus, since tap water does not need any plastic bottles, it is also the more environmentally-friendly option.
However, as already mentioned, when you go into a restaurant (or someplace else) in Munich, it is unlikely that you will receive complimentary glasses of tap water. In this case, you’ll have to settle for the bottled water – or bring your own bottle of home-filtered water.
Should Tourists Go for Bottled Water When Visiting Munich?
This actually depends on the tourist. Every country may have different bacteria in their water. However, considering that these bacteria can get into the bottled water as well, there’s no particular reason why you might have to switch to bottled water.
The water suppliers treat and filter the water, to the point that they leave it fresh, without actually stripping it of its nutrients and minerals. So, generally speaking, you don’t have to search for a water filter in Munich to be able to enjoy a glass of refreshing and pure water.
Summary
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Munich, and you should not have any worries regarding its cleanliness and purity.
Originating from the Alps, the water is actually pretty clean and it’s better than other tap waters in Europe.
You might want to perform a test on the tap water if you are planning on using it in the long term.
Tap water in Munich is not that inferior to bottled water – and sometimes, it can even be better. However, since the German word for “tap water” reads as “plumbing water,” the locals tend to avoid it.

Sources:

Bottled water better than tap water: http://www.total-munich.com/201607291030/blog/news/tap-water-in-munich-better-than-many-bottled-waters.html
https://www.swm.de/english/m-wasser.html
https://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Tap_water_quality
https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/79127/is-tap-water-in-munich-safe-to-drink-if-so-why-do-locals-buy-bottled-water
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187309-i118-k7373126-Drinking_water-Munich_Upper_Bavaria_Bavaria.html
http://www.total-munich.com/201607291030/blog/news/tap-water-in-munich-better-than-many-bottled-waters.html
https://language101.com/german/about-germany/why-germans-dont-drink-tap-water/

Tap Water in Munich Better than Many Bottled Waters

Can I Drink the Tap Water in Munich?

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