The quality of the tap water in Costa Blanca was able to meet EU and WHO standards. This means that tap water in this part of Spain is safe to drink. Be careful, however, because its high mineral content may not sit well in your stomach.
In previous decades, the tap water in Costa Blanca has had a bad reputation.
But as of this writing, the quality of Costa Blanca’s tap water is already at par with WHO standards.
Just to let you know, WHO has the strictest standards when it comes to the quality and cleanliness of tap water.
But expect the tap water in Costa Blanca to have an aftertaste. The aftertaste in Costa Blanca’s tap water is where the bad reputation started years ago.
But I will tell you more about this later on.
This article will discuss your other healthier options if you decide not to drink tap water. Aside from that, I will also tell you where the tap water from Costa Blanca is from.
In addition, I will also give you a few recommendations on the brands of purifiers that I trust. You can buy these purifiers before you head to Costa Blanca. Finally, I will be giving you tips on how to check whether tap water is safe for drinking or not.
These tips, I am sure, are knowledge that you can use wherever you may be.
Tap Water Quality and Possible Issues in Costa Blanca
Every month, a published report is available on water quality in Costa Blanca.
The monthly report contains details about the cleanliness of their water.
First of all, let me clarify this with you. Tap water in the whole country is mostly safe for drinking. This includes tap water in Costa Blanca.
About 99% of public tap water in the country is potable. But like I said, this has an aftertaste.
Most of the companies in the country provide regular water quality reports. The publication of the reports encourages transparency on the quality of tap water. And this is helpful. Locals and tourists would know if there is non-compliance to the regulations set.
This level of transparency minimizes the risks of people getting sick.
One of the challenges in tap water in the country is the use of chlorine. This is a chemical commonly used to sterilize tap water. Chlorine kills bacteria and other viruses.
Remember the aftertaste issue I mentioned earlier? This chlorine is what causes it.
The aftertaste may bother some people. But let me reiterate. It is safe.
In areas like Costa Blanca, you would find that water there has higher levels of minerals. These minerals come from the rivers and groundwater.
Just to emphasize, the existence of these minerals is not harmful. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, it can make your stomach rumble. This is a common incident, especially on the first two days.
But eventually, your stomach gets used to the tap water in Costa Blanca.
To summarize, tap water in Costa Blanca is safe. When it is unsafe, there will be local warnings.
But if you don’t feel like drinking tap water in Costa Blanca, you can go with your second option. And that is to buy bottled water. If not, the third option calls for purifiers.
I will talk more about that in a while.
List of Contents
Where does the tap water in Costa Blanca come from?
About 30% of the tap water supply in Costa Blanca comes from groundwater aquifers. The rest are from other regions and desalination plants. The combined supply from these two sources is enough to cater to locals and tourists in Costa Blanca.
Because Costa Blanca is a coastal area, they classify as semi-arid.
The rainfall is not much. And if there is, it would be irregular.
There are also fewer rivers and no lakes.
But during the summer months, the demand for water increases. This is because thousands of tourists visit Costa Blanca for its coastal beauty.
It is in these months that Costa Blanca receives about 500,000 or so tourists.
The supply of tap water in Costa Blanca is often enough, even during summer.
But because tap water in Costa Blanca has an aftertaste, most tourists don’t drink it.
It is common for tourists to explore other options. Bottled water is a popular alternative in Costa Blanca.
What are your other options aside from drinking tap water?
When the aftertaste is bothering you in Costa Blanca, you can buy bottled water. Bottled water is available in restaurants as well as in convenience stores.
In the past, the quality of tap water in Costa Blanca had always been poor. Drinking tap water here has thus become a known caution among tourists.
Even up to these days, most would drink from bottled water.
However, as mentioned in the previous section, tap water quality in Costa Blanca is no longer an issue.
Since Spain’s inclusion in the European Union, there’s been a great improvement in tap water quality. And this is something they attained over the past years.
But if the aftertaste bothers you in Costa Blanca, you can always opt for bottled water.
Bottled water is safe to drink. Bottled water is available whether you are in restaurants or convenience stores.
On average, bottled water of 1.5 liters costs around 0.62 Euros.
Now, bottle filters are those you can buy before your travels.
Bottle filters prove themselves handy, whether you are in the US or Europe.
When it comes to its purpose, bottle filters and purifiers are just that – purifiers. These are bottles you can bring with you on your travels.
The tops of refillable bottles have a built-in filter. It is a built-in purification device.
There are a lot of bottler filters in the market. And they look exactly like a refillable water bottle. Bottle filters also do not need extra space in your backpack.
To use, all you have to do is to fill the bottle with water. The filter will then make sure that the water that you drink from the bottle is clean.
This is a great option. But you need to clean up the filter or the device regularly. After too much use, you also need to replace the filter.
Also, some of these bottles may be small. Expect to do a lot of refills, especially if you drink lots of water during your travels.
Do you need suggestions?
Go with a Brita water filter bottle. Another brand that has amazing filter bottles is LifeStraw.
How can you tell if tap water is unsafe to drink?
To tell if tap water is unsafe, the best way to check is to have it tested professionally. But there are sure signs you can tell it yourself. If it is cloudy or with a color, it is unsafe for drinking. If it smells, don’t drink it as well.
No matter where you are, these little tips would always come in handy. You may be in the coastal wonders of Costa Blanca. Or you may be on the scenic beaches of Malaga. Wherever you may be, these tips are helpful.
You should know that the most accurate way to determine the safety of water is to test it professionally. But this is something you and I cannot do every time.
As such, remember these few helpful tips.
Here are a few signs that your tap water is not safe for drinking.
- Watch out for the Color
- Smell It
- Touch It
- Taste It
One of the sure signs that something is wrong with your tap water is its color. Tap water that is safe for drinking should be clear.
Here, I will tell you about what it means when your tap water is anything but clear.
One of the best ways to identify contaminated tap water is its turbidity. In other words, check its cloudiness.
If the water that comes out of the tap is cloudy, that may be unsafe to drink.
Remember that not all cloudy water is unsafe. There are water sources in other places that produce cloudy yet potable tap water.
But just to be safe, if it is cloudy, leave it alone.
Cloudy tap water could mean it comes with unsafe pathogens and/or chemicals.
Sometimes, the water that comes out of the tap can be yellowish.
Yellowish tap water can mean a lot of things.
One possibility is that it may contain chromium-6. This is a chemical that causes cancer.
Also, yellowish water can be because of iron buildup. It can be manganese, copper, or even lead.
When you have orange or brown tap water, this could also signal the presence of some chemicals.
Also, orange or brown water can signify the presence of rust. And if there is something about rust, it is that it can be breeding grounds for bacteria.
A Tinge of Green or Blue
Sometimes, tap water can have a tinge of green or blue.
When you see this, this means danger. Steer clear.
A tinge of blue or green can mean elevated levels of copper contained in the tap water.
This can be due to a lot of things.
Corroded pipes are one of the most common reasons.
Note that copper is not generally bad for you. This is as long as they come in small doses.
But when the level of copper content is high, this can mean health issues. Some of these health concerns can lead to anemia, liver damage, or even kidney damage.
The other sense you can use in identifying unsafe water is the sense of smell.
Try to smell the tap water. It should not smell funny. Tap water should not smell bad.
Read on to know more.
The Rotten Egg Smell
This should be obvious for everyone. But just to give you an idea, tap water that smells like rotten eggs is unsafe. The same is true with tap water that smells like sewage.
When it smells, it may contain hydrogen sulfide.
Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that naturally occurs mostly in groundwater.
Sometimes, this gas can accidentally expose itself to certain types of bacteria. When it does, it converts into sulfate.
Sulfate, when ingested, can cause dehydration. It can also cause diarrhea.
The Fishy Smell
One chemical is barium. The other is cadmium. When tap water smells fishy, it could mean an excess of any of these two dangerous chemicals.
Barium is a chemical that naturally occurs and seeps mostly into the water supply.
In small doses, barium may not account for much. But at high levels, it can cause an increase in blood pressure. It can also cause muscle weakness.
At its worst, it can lead to kidney and/or liver damage.
Another chemical in fishy-smelling water is cadmium.
This chemical is usually in lead and copper ores. When in huge quantities, it can leak into pipes.
This, too, can cause kidney and/or liver damage. Also, this can be dangerous to your bones.
Aside from smelling it, there’s another way to find out.
Pour tap water into a glass, then go to another room.
Swirl the water around and then smell it.
If the water still retains the fishy smell, this only means one thing – contaminants.
Another way to check for contaminants in your tap water is to wash your hands with it.
Hard water, most of the time, is unsafe for drinking. Hard water contains high levels of manganese and lead.
When you wash your hands with hard water, your hands can remain slimy. This is despite using soap and rinsing them with water.
There are rare times when hard water can only contain calcium or magnesium. And this is safe.
But this is something you would not know. So, to be safe, if it’s slimy, don’t drink it.
Not all tap water that looks clean is clean.
If it has a metallic taste, it can contain metals. Some of these are iron, manganese, or zinc. At times, metallic-tasting water can also contain copper or even lead.
Remember that most of these contaminants are invisible to the naked eye.
Most of the time, a tap water source can contain more than one dangerous chemical. This makes it hard for many to assess the risks.
To be safe, be familiar with your water source. And always check quality reports.
That should keep you safe.