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A Guide to Drinking Water in the Netherlands

Categories: Culture,Food and Drinks,Latest News,Uncategorized

The Netherlands is well-known for many things. Think stroopwafels, windmills, and armies of cyclists. But did you know that the Netherlands is also renowned for the quality of its drinking water? As an expat, you might need to get used to being able to drink straight from the tap in your home country. In the Netherlands, it’s a different story! Read on to discover why Dutch tap water is exceptionally pure and safe. Plus, we give an overview of what you should consider if you prefer bottled water. So, are you ready for some much-needed hydration?

a man holding glass of drinking water in the netherlands

Tap Water in the Netherlands – What’s the Deal?

The Netherlands is renowned for having some of the purest tap water globally. With strict rules for testing and monitoring, public health and clean water availability are of high priority for the country’s health organizations. The long-standing quality of Dutch tap water is a testament to the Dutch commitment to cleanliness and efficiency. This goes beyond water. It extends to waste management, recycling, and energy production. Dutch tap water is sourced from lakes, rivers, and underground wells.

The Dutch government sets stringent regulations and standards to ensure consistent safety. Regular testing checks for various contaminants, including heavy metals, pesticides, and microorganisms. Water treatment facilities closely monitor and adjust their processes to maintain quality. Because of this rigorous treatment, no chlorine is needed to make Dutch water drinkable. If contamination is detected, Dutch water providers swiftly issue warnings and alerts. Thankfully, these are rare, only usually occurring due to severe weather. So, as an expat, drink straight from the tap. It’s cost-effective, tastes great, and is healthy!

Should I filter My Tap Water?

In many countries, people prefer to filter their tap water. This can be due to the hardiness of the water, which, in some cases, can contribute to developing kidney stones. It can also be a safety decision or general advice from the government. In the Netherlands, filtering your water isn’t necessary. Water hardiness varies regionally but, on average, is very stable. Dutch tap water is full of minerals, and a filter can remove some of these healthy additions to your water intake!

Is Bottled Water Still an Option?

As an Expat living in the Netherlands, you’ll find plenty of mineral water brands in supermarkets and stores. If you prefer to drink bottled water, be sure to consider the Dutch statiegeld (deposit) system. It’s a small yet powerful social and sustainability mechanism that places a deposit on bottled beverages, including water, to promote recycling. Returning empty bottles to designated machines allows you to receive your deposit back. This eco-friendly approach reduces litter and waste and encourages sustainability.

When buying your bottled water, note that you’ll be charged an additional fee per bottle. If you don’t save and return the bottles, you’ll be spending more money than you need to on bottled water! You can find deposit machines in supermarkets like Albert Heijn and Coop. Small systems such as statiegeld make the Netherlands a leader in environmental conservation.

An overhead shot of a water treatment plant for drinking water in the netherlands

How do the Dutch Treat Their Water?

The treatment of Dutch tap water is a multi-step process. It starts with physical filtration to remove larger particles. Chemical processes then cut contaminants like microorganisms. Aeration and softening techniques enhance taste and quality. This means that the water quality is soft and palatable. Regional water companies provide water and waste services. Quality and treatment are managed nationally.

Organizations such as the RIVM and KWR oversee water regulations and management. Regional water treatment companies and providers are required to comply with statutory requirements.

a young buy tasting the drinking water in the netherlands

So, How Does Dutch Tap Water Compare?

When comparing drinking water quality internationally, the Netherlands ranks among the best in Europe. Living somewhere where tap water is safe to drink nationwide has many benefits. To compare, tap water in the United States has a mixed reputation, with water quality varying significantly by location. Dutch commitment to stringent regulations and advanced treatment methods combats this. So, when entertaining friends or family from abroad, you can rest assured that they can stay hydrated at the twist of a tap.

Surprisingly, the Netherlands is not known for spring bottling companies, as it has ample fresh and pure tap water sources. The Dutch focus has primarily been on maintaining high-quality tap water, making it easily accessible to residents and visitors. This links to a commitment to sustainability and reducing plastic waste.

a stethoscope on a computer keyboard

Benefits Beyond Just Taste and Health

Dutch tap water doesn’t just keep you feeling fresh! You should embrace Dutch tap water for its quality, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits. When you’re visiting a new city or town, keep an eye out for public fountains. They’re free and provide clean, fresh water. Bring a reusable bottle for convenience, as bottled water can be more expensive. If you go for bottled water, recycle your plastic bottles, or return them to get your statiegeld deposit back. A slight quirk of tap water in the Netherlands (and much of Europe) is that it’s only sometimes free in restaurants and bars. Often, you’ll have to pay for standard tap water.

a baby taking the last sip of cold bottled water on a beach

One Last Sip

So, there you have it – a complete overview of drinking water in the Netherlands. Exceptional quality and advanced treatment methods make it a safe, eco-friendly, and cost-effective choice. As you settle into the Netherlands, consider switching to tap water. You’ll save money, reduce plastic, and experience the health benefits of fresh, clean water!