Can you drink tap water in Poland?

written by Maciek Bogdanski

Compared to Western Europe, Poland has plenty of natural areas – forests, lakes and rural areas. Except for southern Poland, where heavy industry is polluting the air, the quality of the environment is relatively good. But how does this apply to drinking water? Can you drink tap water in Poland?

Drinking water sourcing in Poland

According to the University of Silesia, over 70% of drinking water in Poland comes from underground resources. The quality of underground water intakes is much better than surface water. Water is then treated in local Treating Stations before being delivered to our homes. In the outskirts of the cities and in the villages, where people live in stand-alone houses, they tend to drill their wells, as it is not economically justified to connect them to the water network.

Tap water quality

The quality of tap water in Poland is generally considered safe and healthy for consumption. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), the quality of drinking water in Poland meets the European Union’s standards and regulations for most of the parameters. The EEA reports that more than 98% of tap water samples from public water supplies in Poland meet the microbiological and chemical criteria of the Drinking Water Directive. Moreover, the Polish Ministry of Health monitors the quality of tap water regularly and provides guidelines for water treatment and distribution. However, some areas in Poland may have lower quality tap water due to various reasons, such as natural conditions, industrial pollution, or inadequate infrastructure.

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Nevertheless, the quality of tap water in Poland, despite already being high, still improves. In 2006, the water network supplied water meeting the quality requirements to around 91% of customers, in 2009 to approximately 93%, and in 2022 to 99.7% of the population. You may read the full report on the Sanitary Inspector Website.

Despite those results, some people still prefer buying bottled water or boiling it at home, even if they later drink it cold. This is mainly due to the habit that we have from the past, when the treating wasn’t so good, and both the smell and the taste left much to be desired. Now, as the situation changed, more and more people in Poland switch to tap water. I, personally, stopped buying bottled water many years ago, and have never regretted that.

Can you drink tap water in Poland?Drinking tap water in Poland is generally safe
Drinking tap water in Poland is generally safe

Can you drink tap water in Poland?

The answer to the question “can you drink tap water in Poland” therefore depends on where you are staying. If you are staying in the centre of any large city, you may drink water straight from the tap. If you are staying on the outskirts, or in a small city or village, ask the host if the water is drinkable. It is also trendy to use devices to make sparkling water at home, using tap water. Poland has a long tradition in that, as during the communist era, this was sometimes the only way to drink sparkling water. However, now the most popular brand of the device is Israel-based Soda Stream.

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If you are still not convinced whether to drink tap water in Poland, you should know that more and more cities set up drinking fountains on the streets. Among them Gdansk, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. Water provided in those fountains is the same that we have at home.

Bottled water in Poland

If you prefer bottled water to tap water, Poland has plenty of options for you. The most popular brands of bottled water are Zywiec, Muszyna, Naleczowianka. They all offer bottled sparkling and still water, and they all source the water in the cleanest areas of Poland.

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