Warsaw tap water: safe?
September 8, 2019 6:56 PM   Subscribe

Is it currently safe to drink the tap water in Warsaw, Poland?

I will be spending next week in Warsaw (airport, hotel near the Warszawa Zachodnia train station, University of Warsaw Ochota campus). The last time I was there was 20 years ago (pre-EU-membership), when everyone drank bottled water or boiled tap water (mostly made into tea). Google searches have not been very helpful, telling me that the water is perfectly safe BUT all the locals drink bottled water so don't even think of doing anything different. I don't want to be overly paranoid or dehydrated, but I also don't want to get sick. (If it matters, I live in a large city in Canada that has fabulous tap water.) What should I do?
posted by heatherlogan to Travel & Transportation around Warsaw, Poland (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For what it's worth, I stayed at the Warsaw Ibis Reduta in July, drank tap water frequently in the hotel, and suffered no ill effects. (I wasn't sure whether there was going to be a charge for consuming the bottles of water that were left in the hotel room, so I avoided drinking them. Turns out they were complementary.)

It honestly did not occur to me to avoid drinking the tap water.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:05 PM on September 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Normally it's perfectly safe, but we're just dealing with a sewage treatment malfunction. The drinking water is collected from several kilometres upstream, deep under the river bed, and treated in brand new EU certified facilities plus tested to hell, so it should still be safe but I boil mine over the past week because mental ugh.

But hey, be a real Warszawianka and try the water from Oligocene artesian wells! A quick map check shows that the closest to your hotel is probably Barska 16, while Pasteura 10 is on campus. Fantastic taste to boot. If you buy water, I recommend Cisowianka, Ostromecko or (very mineralised and good for you but also semi sparkling) Kinga or Muszynianka.

(For what it's worth, at city council meetings and all business meetings in the City Hall only fresh tap water is served.)
posted by I claim sanctuary at 9:42 PM on September 8, 2019 [12 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, lots of people still drink bottled water out of habit, but plenty drink tap water and there's no reason to think it's unsafe. The sewage treatment failure is a scandal, but doesn't affect the quality of tap water.

One issue you might want to be aware of is that some older buildings have poor plumbing; I've occasionally seen particles in tap water in older residential properties. However, that's unlikely to be an issue in most public buildings.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 6:08 AM on September 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

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