Is It Safe to Drink Tap Water in Venice?

Many of us have heard to be wary about drinking water from foreign countries when we travel. You may pack extra water bottles or buy bottled water wherever you go rather than risking possible stomach or bacterial issues. You may even pack it for fear that the tap water may taste different then what you’re used to drinking.

So, is it safe to drink tap water in Venice? The tap water in Venice is safe to drink. In fact, Venice provides safe and clean water for drinking in a number of locations across the city. There are even fountains designated by the city as water filling stations to encourage tourists to create less waste.[1]

The city of Venice has worked hard to promote the cleanliness of its water. Officials are offering empty bottles and maps of the city to find various fountains to promote tourists to move away from disposable water bottles. A city that runs on tourism wouldn’t be doing this if the water wasn’t safe to drink.[2]

How Do You Know the Water Is Safe to Drink in Venice?

As stated above, city officials are pushing everyone to use the one hundred fountains around the city to get clean water. They’re so sure of their water that they’ve branded it: “Acqua Veritas,” roughly translated as “true water.”

Read Some Reviews from Travelers to Venice

Tourists and civilians agree that the water is safe to drink. Various posts on Trip Advisor sing the praises of the water.  Tourists and people who live in Venice report that the water tastes great and is safe to drink.

Some tourists have stated that the taste is different than U.S. water, mainly due to a different mineral content than water they have at home. So, that might take some getting used to initially. You may have an upset stomach for the first few days for this reason.

Take a Look Around You

There is no shortage of people filling their bottles or drinking straight from the fountains. The Acqua Veritas campaign has been active for more than 10 years, reported in this 2009 NY Times article when it was already three years old. If there was anything wrong with the city water, word would have spread by now.

While you certainly won’t see anyone filling up their water bottles in the canals, you’ll find lots of company when refilling at a fountain.

Venice Must Adhere to EU Standards

Since 1998[3], the EU has pushed the cleanliness of tap and fountain water across Europe. Venice needs to follow these standards to stay within regulation. Knowing that they can’t allow unsafe water to be consumed should put your fears at rest about drinking it while visiting the city.

Where Does Venice Get Their Tap Water?

Water is piped in from the mainland. About 30km[4] from Venice are various wells that house clear and clean water.

  • These water reservoirs are about 300 meters deep in earth that is untouched by man. Given how clean the water is before even being treated for various minerals just goes to show how great the quality is for their drinking water while in Venice.
  • The wells are piped through to various facilities to be tested and analyzed. Since Venice has to adhere to EU standards, there are multiple organizations that have to properly test and analyze the water to guarantee it is safe for consumption. The water is piped to these places to get tested before the end product is then sent to the fountains around the city.[5]

The Result

Venice tap water is considered the best water to drink in Italy. Since the water is taken from deep wells underground, the quality of the water is ranked as one of the highest in Italy.

It is because the city is working so hard to reduce waste that they have the water piped in from the mainland and analyzed so thoroughly to ensure it is safe to drink.

So, you will be completely safe drinking it when you go to visit. Make sure to bring reusable bottles or buy some from a nearby store to reduce plastic bottle waste![6]

Who Makes Sure The Water Is Safe To Drink?

As previously mentioned, the EU is the main organization that oversees the water quality for consumption. The EU sets standards for what minerals in the water are safe to consume. The EU is actually stricter than the WHO, which is the U.S. organization which oversees water quality. The EU wants less of certain minerals like Bromate or Manganese compared to the WHO.  Other checks along the way include:[7]

  • The Public Health Authority checks the water quality based on EU standards. The Public Health Authority is just one of the organizations tasked with guaranteeing that the water is up to code for consumption. They focus on the testing as well as notifying the public about what is in their drinking water and whether it is safe to drink or not. Which is super helpful.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency keeps tabs on the wells and reservoirs maintenance. The Environmental Protection Agency is the organization in charge of keeping man from disturbing the environment around these wells. They also make sure the pipes and maintenance don’t interfere with the environment or ecosystems around them.
  • The Public Local Water Service is in charge of filtering and cleaning the water. The Public Local Water Service makes sure the water is continually meeting EU standards and is safe to drink. They also have the equipment that does all the cleaning and filtering, so they are in charge of upkeeping those things to continue to keep the water drinkable.

How Does Venice’s Tap Water Taste?

No one is saying Venice’s water is perfect. Any water you’re not used to can taste different or unpleasant at first. But, hang in there, the water in Venice is likely to agree with you after an initial warming-up period.

  • You may taste a bit of chlorine[8] when you first try it. This taste is due to chlorine being used to clean the water during the filtering process. Some of that chemical residue can remain in the water, which may be a bit off-putting to those not used to the taste. However, the amount in the water is still safe for consumption.
  • The tap water may give you an upset stomach[9] for the first few days of drinking it. This can be due to the bits of chlorine, as well as other minerals that aren’t as apparent in bottled water. This can give you a stomachache due to the ways you digest those minerals. Never fear though, because you will get used to it after a few days.
  • The fountains[10] around Venice help keep the water cold and great tasting. This can help the water taste better due to the colder temperature, which makes it refreshing, especially on hot days. Plus, since it is from a deep well undisturbed by man the water has a great quality to it.

In Summary

We hope you feel perfectly comfortable drinking “Acqua Veritas” in the beautiful city of Venice.  Don’t be put off by the slight taste difference at the start. After drinking the water for a few days, you’ll barely notice the difference in taste. And it is certainly safe to drink.

So, feel free to drink tap water at one of the numerous water fountains around the city while sightseeing around Venice, and feel good about helping the local government keep their streets clean of unnecessary water bottle trash.

Resources

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jun/04/water.italy

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/jun/04/water.italy

[3] https://www.lenntech.com/who-eu-water-standards.htm

[4] https://meetourvenice.it/2019/07/29/5405/

[5] https://meetourvenice.it/2019/07/29/5405/

[6] https://meetourvenice.it/2019/07/29/5405/

[7] https://www.lenntech.com/who-eu-water-standards.htm

[8] https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/faq/food-and-drink.htm

[9] https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187870-i57-k898688-Drink_the_water_in_Venice-Venice_Veneto.html

[10] https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/faq/food-and-drink.htm

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