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Is French tap water drinkable?


France is known for its rich culture, history, and exquisite cuisine. However, when it comes to drinking tap water in France, many tourists and locals are unsure whether it is safe or not. In this article, we will explore the quality of French tap water and determine whether it is drinkable or not.

The Water Source

The main source of French tap water comes from underground aquifers and surface water sources, such as rivers and lakes. The water is then treated with chlorine, ozone, or UV radiation to kill bacteria and viruses before being distributed to households.

The Water Quality

According to the French Ministry of Health, the quality of French tap water is generally good. However, there may be variations in water quality depending on the location and source of the water. It is important to note that some areas may have higher levels of nitrates or other contaminants.

The Regulations

The regulations regarding tap water in France are strict and are set by the European Union. These regulations ensure that tap water is safe for consumption and that it meets certain standards for cleanliness and purity.

The Taste

While the safety of French tap water may not be a concern for many, the taste may be an issue. French tap water has a distinct taste due to the minerals present in the water. Some people may find this taste unpleasant, while others may enjoy it.

Bottled Water vs Tap Water

Many people opt for bottled water instead of tap water in France. However, bottled water can be expensive and has a negative impact on the environment due to plastic waste. Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which option to choose.

Water Filters

Water filters are becoming increasingly popular in France as a way to improve the taste and quality of tap water. However, it is important to note that not all water filters are created equal and may not remove all contaminants.

Health Concerns

While the quality of French tap water is generally good, some people may still have concerns about the health risks associated with consuming tap water. For example, pregnant women and young children may be more susceptible to the effects of contaminants.

Travelling in France

Travelling in France can be an exciting and enriching experience. However, it is important to be aware of the quality of tap water in different regions. It is always a good idea to research the area you will be visiting and take necessary precautions.


In conclusion, French tap water is generally safe for consumption and meets strict regulations set by the European Union. While some people may find the taste unpleasant, there are ways to improve the taste and quality of tap water. Ultimately, it is up to individuals to decide whether they want to drink tap water or opt for bottled water.


1. French Ministry of Health. (2021). Drinking Water Quality. Retrieved from
2. European Commission. (2021). Drinking Water Quality in the EU. Retrieved from

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Is it OK to drink the tap water in France?

Although the tap water in France is considered safe for consumption, there are some concerns regarding its quality and possible presence of contaminants.

Is it OK to drink Paris tap water?

The tap water in Paris is safe to drink and can be found easily at public water fountains. As long as the taps are not labeled as “not for drinking”, the water is safe for consumption. Drinking from the fountains in Paris is even encouraged.

Is French tap water chlorinated?

The majority of people in France (95%) are provided with tap water that has been treated with chlorine. However, when natural organic matter in surface water interacts with chlorine, the resulting concentration of chlorination by-products (CBPs) is much higher than in groundwater. This was reported on August 6, 2018.

Is bathroom tap water safe to drink USA?

It is not recommended to drink tap water from the bathroom as it may not be as safe as the clean water from the cold tap in your kitchen. While it is unlikely to harm you, it is better to keep a fresh glass of kitchen tap water on your nightstand if you need a drink at night.

Is it illegal to not serve tap water in France?

Under a current regulation, restaurant patrons are entitled to complimentary tap water, bread, napkins, salt, and pepper with their meal. Previously, this rule did not extend to bars and cafes, where customers typically request a glass of water alongside their coffee or dessert.

Can Americans drink the water in France?

Drinking tap water in Paris is deemed safe by various standards including those set by France, the European Union, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Water Conservation

While the quality of French tap water is generally good, it is important to note that water conservation is still important. It is estimated that the average French person uses around 150 liters of water per day, which is higher than the European average. By conserving water, individuals can help reduce their impact on the environment and ensure that there is enough water for future generations.

Water Efficiency in France

France has implemented several measures to improve water efficiency and reduce water waste. For example, water meters are mandatory in all new buildings and renovations, and the use of sprinklers is restricted during certain times of the day to prevent water loss through evaporation. Additionally, some cities offer subsidies for households that install water-efficient appliances.

Drinking Water in Public Places

When travelling in France, it is common to see public fountains and drinking fountains in parks and public spaces. While these fountains may be tempting to drink from, it is important to exercise caution. Not all public fountains are regularly maintained or tested for water quality, so it is best to stick to drinking tap water or bottled water.

The Importance of Hydration

Regardless of whether you choose to drink tap water or bottled water in France, staying hydrated is important. Dehydration can cause a range of health issues, including fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. It is recommended that adults drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day.


In conclusion, while some people may have concerns about the taste or safety of French tap water, it is generally safe for consumption and meets strict regulations set by the European Union. By conserving water and staying hydrated, individuals can help reduce their impact on the environment and improve their overall health.

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