According to Spanish consumer organisation OCU, tap water is the first choice of Spaniards to drink (56%). In addition, 46% of consumers also choose bottled mineral water on a daily basis ‘because of the unpleasant taste or hardness of tap water in their area’.
Water is the best way to stay hydrated, especially in summer. The human body of an adult consists of more than 60% water, making it the most necessary nutrient for the organism. Therefore, in this sense, drinking tap water is the best option, the OCU said in a recent report analysing the quality of tap water in Spanish cities.
OCU research shows that tap water in most Spanish cities is “of good quality and not contaminated”. However, there are differences in quality between some areas in Spain. In places where tap water is hard, ‘it often has a bad taste’. Then ‘it is more common to use natural mineral water as table water’.
Where does the best water come out of the tap?
The OCU has created a map of Spanish cities showing the hardness index of the water, which is caused by the content of lime and magnesium salts. Although Madrid has always had the reputation of having the best water in Spain, in reality there are other Spanish cities that even surpass the capital in this ranking.
According to OCU data, the Spanish cities with the best tap water are Burgos, Vigo, San Sebastian and Las Palmas, followed by Madrid, Granada and León. Zaragoza, Ciudad Real, Palma de Mallorca, Huelva, Logroño and Barcelona have the worst water quality, mainly due to hardness and bad taste.
Four categories: from soft to very hard
Finally, the study divided the Spanish provinces into four categories based on the hardness of the water (measured in French degrees or ºF):
Soft water (less than 12ºF):
A Coruña, Pontevedra, León, Valladolid, Burgos, Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa, Madrid, Badajoz, Alicante, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Low hard water (12 to 30ºF):
Asturias, Navarre, La Rioja, Girona, Barcelona, Ciudad Real, Seville, Cadiz and Granada.
Hard water (30 to 40ºF):
Tarragona, Mallorca, Murcia, Albacete and Jaén.
Very hard water (over 40ºF):
Zaragoza, Teruel, Valencia and Almería.
See also: Is tap water in Spain safe to drink