Is It Safe To Drink Tap Water In Munich?

Is it safe to drink tap water in munich

It’s safe to consume tap water in Munich. In fact, most Germans know this and freely drink tap water in Germany.

But are you sure of this for all the German cities? 

How safe is it to drink tap water in Munich? And why?

Aside from the well-known Oktoberfest, Munich also offers the purest water in Germany. 

So, should you drink tap water in Germany? Let’s find out!

Can I Drink Tap Water In Munich? Is It Safe?

Yes, you can drink tap water in Munich because it is checked for quality and sanitation before being released into the tap pipes. It also goes through E Coli and TMS stage 2 approach of filtration which makes Munich water one of the safest sources to drink from.

This study shows that 32 individuals enjoy the tap water here, 12 consume filtered tap water in Germany, and 1 thinks tap water in Germany is bad to consume.

Some tests show it’s among the best tap water in Europe. The mineral content is relatively high, making it hard water, but safe to drink.

Can You Drink Hotel Tap Water In Munich?

Yes, you can drink hotel tap water in Munich because Munich hotels promote the world’s purest form of drinking water. Like everywhere else in Munich, hotel tap water goes through sanitization and quality checks. Thus, you can drink hotel tap water in Munich without worrying about any health hazards.

Is It Safe For Babies And Kids To Consume Tap Water In Munich?

 

Baby drinking tap water

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If your baby is six months or older, it is certainly safe for babies and kids to consume tap water in Munich. It is commonly suggested that newborn babies wait six months before drinking water. If your baby is 6 months old or more, giving them a sip of tap water is fine.

You may have wondered if using tap water for your baby’s meals is actually safe. Yes, it is. 

Munich tap water is monitored regularly, and environmentally friendly farming practices surround the area from which it originates. This means it is most likely free from pesticides, insecticides, and other harmful chemicals.

Is It Safe To Consume Water From The Hospital Taps In Munich?

Yes, it is safe to drink water from the hospital taps in Munich. The entire water system is regulated by the authorities before it is supplied to the faucets of the hospital taps. Hospitals spend a lot of time and money on clean drinking water for their patients and visitors. 

The mineral level in the water and continuous check on the quality of water by hospitals makes the water safe to drink for everyone.

Can You Have Ice Made From Tap Water In Munich?

When consuming iced tap water in Munich, one does not need to worry due to the high quality of tap water in Munich. Munich tap water is safe and goes through strict quality control therefore, having ice made from tap water in Munich is safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions against ingesting any drink with ice derived from tap water in other countries. However, it is not the same with Munich.

Why Should You Drink Tap Water In Munich?

You should drink tap water in Munich owing to the following reasons:

  • It’s safe for consumption
  • It doesn’t contain plastic or toxic elements
  • It helps you save money
  • It results in environmental conservation
  • It has a lot of minerals, etc.

Reason 1: Munich Water Is Safe For Consumption

Munich water, in fact, most of Germany’s water is considered to be one of the purest, safest, and best-tasting sources of water in the world. Germany has a strict Water Protection Policy in place which also includes Munich’s tap water sources.

The Water Protection Policy of Germany aims to maintain as well as restore the ecological quality of the water bodies. This, in turn, ensures that the chemical quality of the water coming through the taps in Munich and most of Germany is safe.

Reason 2: It Does Not Contain Plastic Or Toxic Elements

Unlike many other countries, Germany does not use chemicals such as chlorine and fluorine to filter water. This means that you do not get any of these elements that could be potentially harmful to your health in tap water in Munich or the whole of Germany.

Munich water as well as the rest of German water also contains a negligible amount of nitrate. Nitrate is a continuing problem in most countries that source their water from under the ground. However, Germany is an exception.

Besides, Munich water does not contain any plastic or toxic elements which makes it further safe for usage.

A recent study, AGAIN, rated German water as “very good”.

Reason 3: Tap Water In Munich Is Cost-Saving

One of the most obvious reasons you should drink tap water in Munich is because it saves money. Tap water is free of cost whereas mineral bottled water could be considerably expensive; especially sparkling water which is very popular in Germany.

Reason 4: Tap Water In Munich Is Environmentally Conservative

Now, here is the irony. A lot of Germans think that using bottled water encourages the recycling of plastic. This is true to a great extent. However, only 42.8% of beverage containers in Germany are reusable while 57.2% of them are still single-use. 

A number of Germans fail to realize this and according to a recent survey, almost half of the German population (42%) thinks that all the deposit bottles are recyclable; even the single-use containers.

This in general leads to more usage of plastic and less of its recycling.

On the other hand, tap water in Munich is environmentally more conservative since you can refill it again and again in any beverage container, be it made of plastic or not.

Reason 5: Munich Tap Water Is Rich In Minerals

A huge portion of tap water in Munich is sourced from the Alps which not only makes it one of the cleanest sources of water but it also contributes to the rich mineral density of the water. 

Minerals play an important role in all bodily functions. Drinking tap water in Munich can help ensure you get the essential minerals required for the proper functioning of the body.

Another portion of Munich water comes from underground sources, which again, are high in minerals, therefore ensuring the supply of essential minerals to the body.

Where Does Tap Water In Germany Come From?

The tap water in Germany (70% of German drinking water, actually) comes from underground sources and springs. The remainder of tap water in Germany comes from ponds, dams, streams, or boreholes. The quantity of water from each source may vary depending on the geography. 

Drinking water in Germany comes from a variety of sources:

  • 62% of tap water in Germany is derived from groundwater, which develops when rainwater or river water from the ground seeps into the earth. 
  • Whether the water originates from deep underground layers or sources close to the surface determines its suitability for drinking. Water from sources near the surface must be cleaned more thoroughly.
  • Another water source is surface waters such as streams, lakes, and ponds, to name a few.
  • Bank filtration is another source where the groundwater is increased through artificial means for human consumption.

How Is The Quality Of Tap Water In Germany?

Germany provides the cleanest quality of tap water on the planet. Drinking water is among the most strictly controlled commodities in Germany. Germany consistently ranks among the top ten countries. In 2001, the German government issued water legislation (Trinkwasserverordnung) imposing tight rules on tap water. 

How Does Germany Achieve Such Optimum Quality Of Tap Water?

Because of the stringent restrictions governing tap water, no harsh chemicals like chlorine or fluoride are utilized to filter it.

According to a research conducted by the German Association of Local Utilities, which interviewed over 10,000 individuals, nearly 93% of Germans consume tap water, and 84% of Germans rank water quality as pleasant or decent.

So yes – you CAN drink tap water in Germany!

Munich is also one of those few cities worldwide that uses an ion exchange system instead of reverse osmosis. 

Ion exchange filtration uses bead-like ion-exchange resins. The water is percolated through these resins and the ions in the water are exchanged for ions that are fixed to the resins.

This reduces the hardness of Munich’s tap water to a great extent. The deionization of water is very important when it comes to the holistic purification of water.

Besides, the tap water in Munich also goes through e. Coli and TMS Stage 2 process approach. This aims to reduce the presence of harmful microorganisms, viruses, and other potentially hazardous components.

Here is a tabular summary of water quality in the 10 major cities in Germany (according to user submitted ratings and waterhardness.net):

 

Name Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility Water Pollution Average Water Hardness
Berlin 74% 29% 20 °dH
Hamburg 86% 24% 14 °dH
Munich 87% 16% 16 °dH
Cologne 79% 26% 22 °dH
Frankfurt 77% 26% 20 °dH
Stuttgart 83% 25% 11 °dH
Düsseldorf 84% 22% 14 °dH
Dortmund 89% 14% 7 °dH
Essen 75% 5% 7 °dH
Leipzig 81% 15% 16.8 °dH

 

** °dH is a common scale used to measure water hardness in Germany. 

Water below 8.4 °dh – soft water; water between 8.4 to 14 °dh – medium-hard water; water above 14 °dh – hard water.

Do People Consume Tap Water In Munich? 

Yes, overall, 71% of people in Munich consume tap water, according to this study. This is because tests show that Munich’s water is superior to mineral water bottles. Moreover, municipal authorities have urged residents to fill it up from the taps instead of using disposable bottles.

However, there is a significantly large part of Germans as well as citizens of Munich who prefer to drink bottled water over tap water. Although they are well aware of the fact that tap water in Germany is one of the safest to drink, they still prefer bottled water.

Let us understand why so many Germans prefer to avoid tap water in Germany and Munich despite it being one of the safest sources of water in the world.

Why Do Many Germans and People In Munich Not Drink Tap Water (Even Though It’s Safe)?

A large number of Germans do not drink tap water due to a number of probable reasons such as:

  • Preference for sparkling or carbonated water
  • Considering tap water to be inferior
  • Bottled water companies claiming tap water to be unsafe
  • A common misconception that tap water is unsafe, etc.

Reason 1: Germans Just LOVE Sparkling Water

 

Germans love sparkling water

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

You must have heard about how Germans love bubbles. Well, that’s not just limited to beer. They are even more specific about their water. A lot of Germans prefer bottled water, not just sparkling, but also in flat and mineral varieties. 

The reason behind a lot of Germans buying bottled water is not just minerals (because minerals are also present in tap water). It’s more than that. Germans just seem to have an innate love for carbonated water. 

In fact, it is so popular to drink sparkling water in Germany that it comes in all varieties such as medium sparkling, mineral, full sparkling, and Heilwasser or healing mineral carbonated water. 

Let’s understand why the Germans have an innate love for sparkling water even though their tap water is safe and one of the best tasting waters in the world.

The History Behind The Germans’ Love For Sparkling Water

For many centuries, mineral springs in Germany especially spring in Selters and Gerolstein, have been the source of water for Germans. 

At one point, mineral water became a craze so much so that the more unique the taste of the mineral water, the more exclusive it became. With exclusivity came the expensiveness of the water.

There was yet another reason why Germans had been crazy after mineral water. In the knowledge of the people of ancient Germany, mineral springs were believed to have healing properties. 

Thus, mineral springs were seen as intricately linked with numerous health benefits. This also led to the exclusivity of the carbonated as well as mineral water, besides the taste. 

The taste of the carbonated water had this fizzy sensation and a mild acidic taste that made Germans believe that the mineral water or water from mineral springs was fresher and healthier.

However, since carbonated and mineral water was expensive only the elites of the country could afford it. Thus, mineral and carbonated water became a symbol of social status as well.

What Changed?

This changed in 1767 when German Joseph Priestley invented a method to carbonate water synthetically. His method was put to use by Jakob Schweppe who started carbonizing water from any spring in Germany. 

This led to Germans from all social statuses to be able to have access to carbonated water which was considered fresher, definitely healthier, and a symbol of high status. Ever since, the Germans’ love for sparkling or carbonated water, in general, grew stronger and stronger.

Much of this belief and love is still left unshaken even after Germany started keeping strict control on tap water quality and offering some of the safest water in the whole world. 

This is because the concept of associating carbonated water with health has outlived the recent developments in the water quality of Germany and Munich.

And, as we all know, if Germans put their mind to something (sparkling water in this case), they can be very particular about it!

Reason 2: Asking For Tap Water In Restaurants Is Unusual

It is unusual to request tap water in German restaurants. Restaurants make a lot of money selling beverages. 

That’s why asking for tap water at restaurants might be considered impolite. Instead, you should get bottled mineral water.

Moreover, some folks just do not like the flavor of German tap water. It might be due to the limestone in the water or their preference for sparkling water.

Reason 3: Tap Water Sounds Bad To A Lot Of Germans

Another factor is the opinion towards having to drink German tap water. In German, tap water is known as “Leitungswasser,” which translates to “piped water.” 

This is why Germans do not serve water from the tap to their guests. “Piped water” just doesn’t seem appealing.

Furthermore, this idea may be rooted in the past when consuming bottled mineral water to demonstrate affluence owing to its greater cost.

Reason 4: Bad Advertisement For German Tap Water

For a long time now, a number of bottled water manufacturers have falsely advertised Munich tap water or German tap water, in general, to be unsafe or bad. This has led a number of Germans as well as Munich citizens to believe that tap water consumption is bad for health.

Reason 5: Varying Degree Of Cleanliness Of Non-Governmental Water Pipes

Of course, the governmental water pipers are clean, well-regulated, and sanitized. However, the government does not keep a check on personal as well as non-governmental water pipes. These pipes can include apartmental water pipes, pipes at home, etc. 

Regardless of whether the water coming from the governmental water pipes is clean, it is still being transported to the glass through personal water pipes only. If the personal water pipes are not clean, it ultimately renders the quality of even the cleanest of water unsafe.

Therefore, a lot of people living in apartments and other such places refrain from drinking tap water in Munich as well as Germany.

Where Does Munich’s Drinking Water Come From?

The majority of Munich’s tap water comes from the Alps. M-Wasser is the primary water provider, supplying water to roughly 1.4 million Munich people. The water is transported straight from the Alps. It goes through extensive filtration processes to guarantee that any dangerous impurities are eliminated.

You may think that the level of chalk in the water must be high due to its source of origin; however, the water is purified by the water suppliers before reaching you.

History Of Munich Water Pipes

History of Munich Water Pipe

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

One of Munich’s greatest attractions is its magnificent array of water pipes, which have been the relics of the ancient city’s method of providing water to all households. 

The city’s water pipes, dating back to the ninth century, provide clean water to its residents. They are also designated as a historical site, including the famous Brandenburg Gate. 

Water is an essential resource for every city and is used in various ways, including filling public pools and lakes. These things would not be feasible without fresh water. As a result, Munich takes an incredible interest in maintaining its water pipelines.

Munich’s water pipes are essential to the city’s cleanliness and maintenance. These pipes are meticulously fitted; if they break, they are simply replaced. Another compelling incentive to visit Munich is that the water is guaranteed safe. 

The waters are tested regularly to ensure that they still have appropriate minerals and do not contain toxic microbes or pollutants that might hurt the users.

How Can One Examine Munich’s Tap Water?

There are various laboratories where you can examine your tap water. It shouldn’t be required in most cases, as Munich’s tap water is safe to drink. However, if you have any concerns, you can try Stiftung Warentest’s tapwater testing laboratory.

Is Chlorine Added To Munich’s Drinking Water?

The local authority tends to add chlorine to Munich’s drinking water for a day or two at a very minimal concentration, only mostly during long hot summer seasons. 

As Munich’s drinking water is frequently monitored by the city’s municipal works, there is no need to add chlorine to Munich’s tap water. 

Tap water in Munich is of good quality, potable, free of germs, and devoid of any bacteria.

Do I Need A Water Filter In Munich?

You do not necessarily require a filtration system in Munich’s water. Still, it’s an inexpensive insurance policy as plastics and other toxins create long-term health problems. Water filtration for Munich tap water may be purchased for as low as €60 per year.

These filters help in ensuring you have access to fresh tap water daily. 

Humans have polluted nearly every part of the globe with plastic litter and other toxins. Every year, we discover new toxins and health dangers in tap water. 

The E Coli and TMs stage 2 approach are responsible for Munich’s high tap water quality. This is a sophisticated type of water filtration invented roughly thirty years ago to enhance water quality. 

Even though the system is quite costly, it has been found to have a considerable influence on the cleanliness of the water.

Are There Drinking Fountains In Munich?

Water Fountain in Munich

Photo by Andres Garcia on Unsplash

In Munich, there are dozens of fountains. According to authorities, there are 55 fountains attached to the municipal water system that may be used to replace your empty bottle. However, just 11 of them were officially designated drinking fountains at the time.

Not all fountains are linked to the potable pipelines and instead reuse the same water. Therefore make sure that the water fountain in Munich is actually a drinking fountain before filling your bottle with the water.

Can You Reduce The Level Of Limescale In Munich’s Water?

You can use Entkalker, also known as a ‘descaling agent,’ to reduce limescale levels in Munich’s water. The descaling agent often comprises acidic compounds that easily remove soluble salts.

The basic line is that you must employ an appropriate chemical to eliminate the limescale. Many individuals use vinegar or lemons to clean their homes. You could also buy a real, chemically proven descaling product for less than 2€ and be finished with your cleaning.

What Are The Alternatives To Tap Water In Germany?

Having bottled mineral water or installing water filters are some of the alternatives to tap water in Germany. As previously said, many Germans opt not to drink tap water directly. If they do, they normally run the tap for a few minutes before drinking the water. 

People do this early in the morning since they feel the water quality is poor if it has been sitting in the pipe for a long period of time.

Bottled Water In Munich and Germany

In Germany, tap water is subject to stricter controls than bottled mineral water. If you read the labels on the water bottles, you can find out when the water was last regulated. 

The control is not performed as frequently as the tap water. Bottled water is available in both sparkling and still varieties. 

The degree of carbonation in sparkling water may be seen on the bottle label. Typically, you may select between mild, medium, or strong. 

Filtered Water

Soft water generally has a better flavor, so if one drinks tap water, they often use a water filter. For example, the flavor of the BRITA water filter tastes very soft. 

A timer indicates when the water filter should be replaced.

Furthermore, utilizing filtered water benefits the boiler and coffee maker. It is preferable for maintenance since less chalk will build in the products where water can accumulate for a long time.

Should You Buy Mineral Water Instead Of Tap Water In Munich?

No one should prefer bottled mineral water over tap water in Munich. Tap water is much more accessible, less expensive, and more ecologically friendly than bottled water in Munich. If you do not have a preference for carbonated water, tap water in Munich is the best to drink. 

Restaurants often try selling you bottled mineral water. However, if you request tap water, they will provide it to you.

What Is Hard Water? Does Munich Have Hard Water?

Hard water is defined as water with a high mineral content — calcium and magnesium. It is mostly owing to the Alpine Hills in Munich.

Traditionally, the phrase “water hardness” has been used to describe water that contains a high concentration of these minerals, making it difficult to use soap because the stiffness of the soap stops it from lathering.

Water pipes may become stuck owing to scaling owing to the calcium content. The issue is not limited to your water pipes; you may notice lime/chalk deposits everywhere.

The Rumors About Hard Water In Germany

Chalk in the water is composed of magnesium and calcium. They are minerals that we need. 

Some people said that hard drinking water caused their hair loss and that the issue improved after they started to drink soft water again. 

On the flip side, many Germans have never had hair problems despite drinking hard water their entire lives. There are several additional causes of hair loss, such as stress or medical problems.

There is no concrete evidence that consuming hard water causes hair loss or the formation of stones. If unsure, use a filtration system or consume bottled mineral water.

How Hard Is The Water In Your Area In Munich?

The harshness of the water from the tap may be measured using a scale. In German, this is known as the German degree of hardness, or “Grad Deutscher Härte” (°dH). The scale runs from 0° DH to 21° dH, with 0° being the softest and 21° representing the harshest. 

You may find out the actual hardness of your water from your local water supply. According to Stadtwerke München, the freshwater in Munich has an average of 15.8 °dH.

Chalk does not hurt our health. It is mostly composed of iron and calcium. As a result, they are genuinely beneficial minerals for humans. However, it does alter the taste so which may impact people’s preference for drinking tap water.

Should Travelers Drink Tap Water While Traveling In Munich?

Travelers can drink tap water while traveling in Munich due to the high quality and safety maintained during sourcing tap water. If you do not have a preference for sparkling water and can drink hard water, you can certainly drink tap water in Munich as a traveler.

Also, you’ll always need potable water, regardless of where you travel. People who drink directly from the faucet are safe in certain regions of the world. Still, often, you might have to purchase water bottles or make efforts to filter the tap water.

Whether consuming tap water is safe or unsafe depends largely on your body composition and how it reacts to foreign potable water. Aside from that, bottled mineral water is widely available, so there’s no need to be concerned.

Locals from Budapest and several other places in Europe drink tap water since they have developed a tolerance for it. They even have water drinking fountains in their own city.

As a tourist, your body may not be accustomed to the various amounts of minerals or pollutants in other nations’ water compared to your own. 

Many people in the UK are unfamiliar with the tastes of tap water due to the increased quantities of calcium inside the water.

How To Check Water Quality While Traveling?

To check water quality while traveling, you can use water tablets or gadgets that have strips to compare with a colored chart. You can also use water purification devices. An odor, color, or flavor change may indicate that your water is dangerous. 

If you truly want to be cautious, get a kit before going on your trip.

However, many bacteria are odorless and colorless, making them difficult to identify without the correct water testing techniques.

When traveling, you may also rely on dependable water purifying methods and technologies, such as those indicated below.

Boil The Water 

Is it okay to consume boiling water? Yes, most of the time. How do you go about it? First, use a filter or similar equipment to remove large particles from the water. 

Bring the pot over medium heat for at least one minute. Allow the water to cool before drinking or using it.

Use Iodine Tablets Or Solution

Remove the larger particles first. Following that, read and follow the directions on the pills or solution you bought. Mixing or combining the fluids and a 30-minute wait are normally required for iodine purification.

Iodine pills and solutions are widely available. Your local shops most certainly have some. You may also purchase them on Amazon.

Add Chlorine Droplets

Chlorine droplets for water filtration function the same way as iodine solution or pills. They also eliminate all germs. 

Chlorine drops are available on Amazon or at your local sports goods store. Make sure you just add the recommended quantity. 

Too much chlorine can cause symptoms similar to water-borne or food-borne infections.

Purchase A Water Purification Device

On the market, there are several innovative and small water filtration systems. Water bottles with built-in filters and purification systems are also available. 

Pump filters, which involve some human effort, and gravity filters, are available for those wanting to hike with a larger group. 

Finally, UV purifiers like the Steripen are small and powerful.

Many of these devices are available at your local shops. 

It is also possible to purchase them online. However, some things may be slightly more expensive than the other options. Some, such as the pumps, may also need a little more effort.

Signs That You Are Consuming Contaminated Water

The most common symptom of consuming polluted water is gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhea, nausea, and stomach discomfort. 

The specific symptoms may vary depending on the contaminant or germ. 

In any case, becoming ill due to polluted water can spoil a trip or holiday. If you are going overseas and may come across contaminated drinking water, always employ proper safety precautions to keep you and your family safe.

Conclusion

Munich’s systematic water cleansing processes and regulations make it the safest place to consume tap water. While it’s safe for everyone to drink tap water in Munich, taking preventive measures is recommended.

You can either drink tap water or opt for bottled water in Munich – that completely depends on your personal preferences.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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