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Tap water in England & France

Hi there,

Can someone tell me if tap water is okay to drink in England and France? Thinking I just want to bring a reusable waterbottle and refill as needed instead of buying a bottle of water all the time!

Thanks,
Gina

Posted by
2018 posts

Personally, I have never had a problem drinking or using tap water in either country. Others may have different thoughts on this question.

Posted by
5784 posts

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/united-kingdom

Health Information for Travelers to United Kingdom, including England,
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards in the United Kingdom are similar to those in
the United States. Most travelers do not need to take special food or
water precautions beyond what they normally do at home.

Posted by
276 posts

JC.... when I was a child we traveled to Michigan. Every time I visited my grandmother I ended up sick. Twice as a baby I was admitted to the hospital for dehydration. After a few trips my parents determined the cause was the water. To this day I shy away from tap water.

Posted by
3259 posts

Highlanderct: it's unlikely there was anything wrong with the water there. But it's more likely that an immature or sensitive digestive tract objected to the differences in the mineral content of the water.

My system seems to be similarly sensitive to water, even though it is perfectly safe to drink by all health standards. Having said that, I haven't had problems drinking tap water from anywhere from the Alps and North. I'm more fussy about the taste- some cities just have bad tasting water. Then I only drink the bottled varieties.

Posted by
3491 posts

I have consumed tap water all throughout the UK and Ireland with zero issues.

I have drank tap water in France with no issues. Haven't been everywhere in France, but never had issues.

Can find no warnings that the tap water in these countries would not be healthy.

Posted by
4654 posts

JC.... when I was a child we traveled to Michigan. Every time I visited my grandmother I ended up sick. Twice as a baby I was admitted to the hospital for dehydration. After a few trips my parents determined the cause was the water. To this day I shy away from tap water.

It wasn't Flint was it? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, for some reason my initial response has been deleted!

Posted by
8889 posts

Food and water standards in the United Kingdom are similar to those in the United States.

Oh no they're not. Ever heard of GM (Genetically modified) plants, and hormones in beef? Food and Water Standards in the EU are generally higher than the US. But I wouldn't expect a US government site to admit that.

Posted by
5784 posts

https://www.water.org.uk/policy/drinking-water-quality/water-quality-standards

In the UK all drinking water, whether from public supplies or other
sources, has to meet standards laid down in the EU Drinking Water
Directive (98/83/EC). It is the duty of each EU member state
government to translate the requirements of the directive into local
laws, which must as a minimum meet the requirements of EU legislation.

UK regulations follow the EU directive, but some aspects are stricter
than, or in addition to, those defined by the directive, reflecting
the high standards of water supplies in the UK.....

The law requires that drinking water is wholesome and clean. It sets
down maximum acceptable concentrations for a number of potential
contaminants. In addition, there is a general clause, which requires:

β€œWater is free from any micro-organisms and parasites and from any
substances which, in numbers or concentrations, constitute a potential
danger to human health.”

The EU and UK standards are based on advice from the World Health
Organization – through the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality,
which are regularly updated to take account of new knowledge.

https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) are legallyp w
enforceable primary standards and treatment techniques that apply to
public water systems. Primary standards and treatment techniques
protect public health by limiting the levels of contaminants in
drinking water.

Bottom line is, if you don't worry about drinking tap water in the US, don't worry about drinking tap water in the UK

Posted by
276 posts

CJean... there was nothing wrong with the water as no one else got sick. Definitely my age played a factor to how sick I got. But even today I will have GI symptoms. I know most have no issues with tap water I'm just gun shy πŸ™‚

Posted by
3458 posts

I freely drink the tap water throughout Europe . The taste varies from place to place , with one of the best being Scotland . The only place I have avoided tap water , was Russia . Even the hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg provided bottled water for drinking , gratis .

Posted by
4249 posts

Tap water in France is excellent. I just carry a cheap, empty water bottle. Paris has fountains that are so beautiful I had to check to make sure that it was safe drinking water. I am picky about taste of water and haven't found a place in France that I didn't care for the water. One thing I have noticed is that it is hard to find drinking fountains in museums. I'm used to the U.S. where there is typically a water fountain by restrooms. So, then I learned to fill my water bottle prior to going in anywhere.

Posted by
5697 posts

Yes, make sure to carry your own water to the Louvre -- I started feeling ill from dehydration looking for a water fountain in the galleries. Ended up buying a bottle in the cafeteria at extreme price.