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Countries with the Cleanest Drinking Water

In honor of National Water Quality Month, we’ve been posting all about water quality and sanitation and will continue to for the rest of the month. Topics have ranged from the importance of staying hydrated to tips on helping to improve our natural water sources.

For this post, we thought it would be interesting to explore how tap water in other countries compares to ours. Our rankings are based off of what people have said, as well as the countries’ access to drinking water and sanitation (provided by the Environmental Performance Index). But, I wish we could’ve tested the water for ourselves and made the rankings that way (our daily blogging budget is a little low for shipping in water internationally). Either way, some of the results might surprise you.

10. Singapore

singapore night skylineThe World Health Organization created the first global drinking water standards in 1993. Since then, the guidelines have been updated. Even our number ten country, Singapore, meets and exceeds these guidelines, resulting in amazingly clean tap water.

Something strange we came across was that even though the tap water in Singapore is very safe, it’s still common practice to boil the water before drinking. Apparently, at least 20% of households in Singapore still boil water before drinking or cooking with it. Not too long ago, water had to be boiled in Singapore to get rid of pathogens. Therefore, older citizens are so used to boiling water that it’s still passed down the generations.

9. Canada

herbert lake in canadaBecause of Canada’s size (2nd largest country in the world) and its climate, it is actually home to more than 60% of the world’s lakes. This means a lot of natural water sources for the people to retrieve water from. On top of that, Canada prides itself on taking care of its environment and beautiful landscapes.

8. Germany

beautiful, fairy-tale castle in SchwerinThe Germans are great at so many things like building cars, brewing beer, and…tap water? At a recent water-themed festival in Berlin run by the city’s water company, a booth offered guests two unlabeled cups. One cup was filled with French bottled water and the other with tap water or “Leitungswasser.” Many drinkers voted the tap water as the best tasting.

Another cultural oddity is Germany’s obsession with sparkling water. Many homes stick with carbonated bottled water or carbonate it themselves from the tap. An even weirder thing is that drinking from the tap is kind of taboo, as most restaurants only serve bottled and public water fountains are a rarity. It might have something to do with Leitungswasser literally translating to “plumbing water.” Either way, Germany’s tap water is very high-quality.

7. Finland

Old Town port in Katajanokka district in Helsinki, FinlandWhen the Helsinki News ran a blind-taste contest between Finnish tap water and bottled water, the Finnish tap came out on top. Water is extracted from deep inside the lake of Paijane to supply the capital city and its surrounding areas. After running through an underground tunnel the water goes through at least six different purification steps including sand filtration, ozonization, activated carbon filtration, and UV disinfection.

6. Austria

Alpine Hallstatt Town and lake HallstatterIf you’ve ever been tempted by bottled water brands that claim to be “mountain spring water” or something of the like, you should try Austrian water. Spring water is led freely down from the Alps, no pumping necessary. This pristine water from the mountains paired with high-tech filtration techniques are the reasons why the capital city of Vienna has consistently been ranked for having some of the best water in the world.

5. Denmark

Copenhagen on a sunny summer dayUnlike Austria and many other European countries, Denmark actually gets all of its water from underground sources. The water is certainly monitored for quality but many of the underground sources are so clean, that a lot of the water is pumped straight to the tap without any treatment. They often advertise how many of the country’s chefs serve drinking water from the tap at their restaurants.

4. Sweden

Scenic summer aerial panorama in Stockholm, SwedenSweden offers its drinking water to residents for free. Usually free means low-quality but we ranked Sweden’s drinking water as the fourth best in the world. Due to the latest in filtration and treatment technology, the water contains virtually no bacteria.

3. Luxembourg

LuxembourgOne of the reasons why Luxembourg ranks third on our list is the fact that the country really takes care of its environment. The country ranks second in the world in terms of its environmental performance index. Most of its water is sourced from natural springs and goes through an “ultra-filtration system” before reaching the tap.

2. Norway

Geiranger, Norway If you’ve ever had Voss bottled water, you’ve tasted Norway’s finest. A Norwegian TV station reported that Voss water is actually sourced from the municipal water supply in Norway. Norwegians are probably laughing at all of the Hollywood celebrities who pay top dollar for Voss, while they get the same water from their sinks.

1. Switzerland

view of lake and Municipality of Brienz in Switzerland.I think it’s not much of a surprise to see Switzerland ranked as #1. Switzerland is praised for so many different areas like freedom of press, education, and the environment (and its watches). Its #1 EPI ranking in the world helped make this decision fairly easy. Most of the water comes from natural mountain springs and lakes and results in the cleanest drinking water in the world.

Were you surprised to not see the United States in the top 10? In most studies and articles we found the US being ranked around 35. And I’ll tell you myself, my tap water doesn’t taste that great. That’s why we choose to use a refrigerator water filter like the ADQ36006101 or the UKF8001 filter and dispense it from our fridge.

vector map of Europe and best countries in terms of drinking waterWhat’s even stranger is that 8 of the 10 countries are located in Europe within close proximity of each other. Maybe the water up there is just better? Or maybe they’re just cleaning it differently or sourcing it better? I believe we can learn a thing or two from these European countries or our friendly Canadians up north.

 

 

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Countries with the Cleanest Drinking Water
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Countries with the Cleanest Drinking Water
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Switzerland is pretty consistently ranked as having the best quality drinking water in the world.
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