Is Polish Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Team BigDoor24 - Friday, May 17, 2019 Tags: General Information News

Get the (f)Low Down on Polish Tap Water

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With the onset of summer, (whenever it arrives!) and the recent publication of the UN Global Assessment Report, we at thought a lot about what we could do, in our own little way, to stop or slow down the findings of this report.

Running around a city Rynek screaming "We are all f$*ked!" seemed unlikely to change minds and anyway, it's been too cold recently to do this effectively (i.e. naked). So we settled on Water, or more particularly, plastic water bottles and the myth that Polish Tap water was in some way not safe to drink.

Simple google searches threw up lots of conflicting opinions from both tourists and local Poles. There is an understandable history in Poland of not trusting the drinking water system and in fact, up to now, restaurant staff would look at you askance if you happened to ask for a glass of tap water, some expecting you not to be alive to pay your bill once imbibed.

These varying opinions can engender nervousness and confusion leading people to just avoid drinking tap water altogether. At BigDoor24 however, certainly not a happy clappy hippy bunch, we don't believe opinions are facts, which is why our kids don't have measles and we know homeopathy is the new snake oil.

So we checked with the experts.

According to EU reports, Polish Water regularly and continuously meets and exceeds EU regulated water safety tests. Different authorities run the drinking water system in different cities and in some cases, the water can taste differently from city to city and indeed from district to district but nearly all ( 90%) satisfies all EU health requirements.The other 10% is very very close to requirements. (Full reports are in the links).

"There is a lot of concern about drinking tap water among Poles. However, as research shows, these concerns are unjustified."

Lidia Kloss - Institute of Economics, Szczecin (2014)

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"Most travellers do not need to take special food or water precautions beyond what they normally do.... " Centre for Disease Control (U.S. Government)

"However, in Poland and many other countries, more than 25 percent of bottled water is just treated tap water. Bottled water is often nothing more than expensive tap water run through a filter, something that can be done in any home for a much smaller cost than buying bottled water" - The Borgen Project - (2017)

That last extract, from the Borgen Project, is especially pertinent and for those with niggling worries, using a water filter should assuage any fears.

So how does this help with the whole "End of the World" thing?

Simple really - stop buying expensive bottled water, whose marketing of has reinforced the myth of dangerous tap water. By doing so you will reduce the number of the many plastic bottles that pile up in Polish rubbish dumps every day. Additionally, when in a large city restaurant, order tap water with smug confidence and disdainfully smile at those around you as you make a small but important step to save the world.

If you would prefer not to feel lonely in your smugness, share this post to all of your friends and Polish Facebook groups, moving the conversation on one bottle at a time.

Happy Sipping!

The BigDoor24 Team

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