Tap water in Croatia
In Croatia, the use of tap water for various everyday things such as cooking or drinking is completely normal, something we do not hesitate about too much. However, we often forget that Croatia has one of the highest quality drinking waters in the world and that many countries do not have such a luxury. Therefore, it is worth analyzing the quality of water supply in our country and checking what exactly we drink and how we treat this valuable resource. Do we need bottled water at all and what is the difference between it and tap water? What is needed for water in nature to become water suitable for drinking. Let's check it!
Tap water quality
Let's clarify right away - the quality of tap water in Croatia is top notch. When we talk about public waterworks, as much as 97% of all analyzes of water from them (and officially thousands of samples are taken every year from all over the country) are completely healthy. Local waterworks have a slightly lower percentage, but overall almost 90% of the population of Croatia can drink water without any health concerns, which is almost impossible in many other countries.
Truth be told, the taste of water is not the same everywhere, but the cause is not a health defect but the hardness of the water. In Zagreb, for example, the water is significantly harder than in Dalmatia.
According to the Croatian Institute of Public Health, companies that manage water supply and all other related services performed almost 70,000 water analyzes in search of unwanted chemical elements, and only 730 (slightly more than 1%) were unhealthy. They also performed nearly 55,000 water analyzes for microbiological indicators and obtained only 251 defective samples (less than 0.5%).
It is important to emphasize that after the detection of any water malfunction in a certain area, a warning is issued to the population, and the competent services start to eliminate the problem.
Croatian islands and water supply
Water supply on the islands is a special logistical challenge that can be solved in several ways. Given the indentation of the coast and their number, it should come as no surprise that the Croatian islands have implemented a number of different solutions.
Brac, for example, uses the proximity of Split and its water supply system to which it is directly connected, while islands like Krk, for example, have their own water sources such as various cisterns and wells. Some Croatian islands, such as Korcula, combine these two approaches, so in addition to their own water sources, they also have access to water supply from the mainland.
In addition, in case of water shortage on any of the islands for any reason, the transport of drinking water from the mainland will be organized to places where it is needed. Drinking water will be delivered in large quantities by special boats so you can be sure that all Croatian islands will always be taken care of in this regard. Holidays on any of Croatian islands should therefore not be in question.
Water path: from spring to tap
In order for healthy water to come from the source (either surface or deep) to the final consumer, it is necessary to carry out the disinfection process. Water in nature, no matter how good it is in Croatia, often contains various microorganisms that can harm our health. They are primarily removed with chlorine.
However, these are not the only health problems that can potentially occur in tap water. In addition to microorganisms, another possible source of problems are worn-out pipes that bring water to your glass. Lead and copper can be very toxic, and the trouble with them is that pipes made from just these elements were used in construction until about the second half of the 20th century. It is therefore advisable to replace the installations in older houses and buildings.
Razne vrste otpadnih voda također ponekad mogu značiti da je voda u prirodi onečišćena, zbog čega je važno imati stroge zakone koji jasno definiraju potrebnu kvalitetu vode za piće. Hrvatska to svakako ima, a kao što ste mogli vidjeti i ranije u ovom tekstu, te norme se itekako poštuju pa je kvaliteta vode na zavidnoj razini.
A few tips for using tap water
However, you can improve the quality of your tap water even more by using a few simple tricks. The simplest thing you can do, which many people already do, is to let the water run for a few moments when using the faucet. Not only will it become noticeably colder (which is especially suitable in the summer months), but the pipes will also be rinsed a little. This is especially recommended if you have not used the faucet for at least 6 hours. So, it is best to do it in the morning.
The hose and sieve of the faucet should be changed regularly. Over time, limescale will settle in these parts, as well as other dreg that would be good to remove.
Water quality can also be improved by additional filtration, and this can be of great help to people with impaired immunity, as well as pregnant women and young children. This can be done in different ways so we will dedicate the next part of this article to that.
Water filtration really doesn’t have to be too complicated as there are several types of filters that are very easy to use and install. The simplest among them are jugs that have an activated carbon-based layer on their top that purifies water. Simply fill the jug with water, put the lid on and the water passing through the jug when pouring also passes through the already mentioned layer.
Many households already have this type of filter, but if you want to purify larger amounts of water more deeply, it is possible to attach a filtration device directly to the end of the faucet. These devices are quite small and easy to handle, and you are not limited by the volume of the container as with jugs.
There are also flow filters that are usually installed under the sink and deeply purify the water, and there are plumbing filters that are installed directly on the pipe that brings cold water into the building and thus purifies the water for the entire space. In this case, it is advisable to consult an expert who can help you choose the right type of filter.
And finally, there are filters with a special membrane that lets in absolutely nothing but water. It is a reverse osmosis procedure that is considered to be the best method of water filtration that you can currently find. These filters are also mounted under the sink, but also require a special faucet.
Bottled water: better or just a more expensive alternative?
We all know that bottled water can be bought at every turn. Small shops, supermarkets and even kiosks, in all of them you will surely find a refrigerator with a supply of bottled water. The question is - what is the difference?
According to some estimates, about 25% of the bottled water you can find on sale is nothing but filtered tap water. Since you can get a filter at home yourself, buying such water seems superfluous.
On the other hand, controls are very rigorous and you can be absolutely sure that bottled water is of excellent quality, but in countries like Croatia this fact is still less important than in places where drinking water is less available. The health safety of water in Croatia is exceptional and buying bottled water does not bring any great benefits.
Furthermore, in the event of natural disasters, tap water often becomes inaccessible and then bottled water can literally save lives because of its practicality and quality.
However, there are also some serious issues to consider here. The first of these is a price that is many times higher than tap water. Moreover, in the US, the price of bottled water is higher than the price of fuel! Not only that, but the price of such water in that state is as much as 2,000 times higher than that from the tap. Amazing, isn't it? Marketing, transport and packaging have a large share in the price, and the latter is another major drawback of this type of water.
The thing is that bottled water in the vast majority of cases is packaged in plastic bottles which are a serious threat to the environment. Over 85% of such bottles are not recycled, which is certainly a serious environmental problem. In addition, producing one plastic bottle of water requires more water than it can hold. Therefore, consuming tap water, although perhaps a little less practical, is much more responsible to nature.
The quality of tap water in Croatia is among the highest in the world, and water sources are one of its most important natural resources. It is important to note that water testing in public waterworks is performed on a daily basis and that water quality is under strict control. And although some Croatian islands deal with water supply in other ways, with their own sources, you can always expect the highest possible quality of drinking water on them. There is absolutely no reason to worry.
Most importantly, the water from the spring is disinfected to remove all microorganisms, but the potential danger to end users are both old and dilapidated pipes, primarily those made of lead and copper, which can release particles that adversely affect our health.
One of the solutions that can raise the quality of water is filtration because there are many types of filters on the market today that are easily available and that remove dirt and sediment from your water.
Of course, you can always decide to buy bottled water, but this has some other consequences. In addition to the incomparably higher price you will have to pay, this also increases the amount of plastic waste in the environment. For a country like Croatia, which has a handful of sources of drinking water and tap water of the highest quality, this seems a bit unnecessary.
All in all, you don't need to worry about water in Croatia. Whether you drink the one from the tap or from the bottle, you can be sure that it will be of the highest quality. From Slavonia to Dalmatia, on islands or on the mainland, Croatian water always belongs to the very top of the world.