Tap water – a source of refreshment
The quality of Berlin's drinking water is outstanding and originates from a regional cycle. We look after this cycle: with natural water treatment, groundwater enrichment and thorough purification of the wastewater, which flows back into the cycle after use. All of this works well. Berlin's drinking water not only meets all of the requirements of the German Drinking Water Ordinance, but it also undercuts the defined limits. Even Stiftung Warentest recommends drinking tap water rather than bottled water.
Drinking water is the best monitored foodstuff in Germany. It must have properties which enable its lifelong use in unlimited quantities without any health hazard. In order to be called drinking water and to be considered a foodstuff, it must adhere to the German Drinking Water Ordinance, a very strict health act. In the summer of 2003, the organisers of a nationwide drinking water test stated: “Never, for as long as valid test results have been available, have the Germans had as clean water as they do today.”
The legal drinking water quality requirements are higher than those for mineral water. This undergoes constant quality checks. Samples are taken and tested on a regular basis, directly with the consumers, at 104 extraction points all over the city. Furthermore, the drinking water’s chemical composition is checked on a daily basis in the waterworks.For the timely detection of contaminants in the drinking water, the raw water from wells is also monitored on a regular basis. This is how the waterworks ensure that they can identify contaminants in the groundwater within their local area in good time.
High in calcium and magnesium, yet low in chlorides and sulphates, Berlin’s drinking water is an excellent thirst quencher. It also tastes good when carbonated. The corresponding appliances are commercially available. Low in nitrates, Berlin’s drinking water can safely be used for the preparation of baby food. At 1.1 to 3.9 mg per litre, Berlin’s water is well below the 50 milligrams (mg) per litre stipulated by the Drinking Water Ordinance.
Since 1 December 2013, the Drinking Water Ordinance has required that a litre of drinking water can contain a maximum of 0.01 mg of lead. Berlin’s drinking water already meets the standard at less than 0.005 mg of lead. No lead pipes exist in the drinking water network of Berliner Wasserbetriebe. However, on the final metres towards your tap - for example, in non-renovated or partially renovated buildings, the water can possibly flow through old lead pipes. This is particularly dangerous for babies and toddlers. The owner is responsible for the building installation.
Anyone who wants to can have a water sample analysed in one of our accredited laboratories. For households in which pregnant women or babies aged up to twelve months live, we cover the costs of the lead analysis. For this, please present your pregnancy record book or your child's birth certificate.
Drinking water coming from groundwater reserves is considered free of germs and therefore does not need to be chlorinated. Only after pipe bursts and other repairs to the pipe network do these areas require brief chlorination. Berlin's drinking water also does not contain any other additives, such as fluoride for the prevention of caries.