Which places in Malaga province have the best or worst tap water?

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tap water

An extensive analysis of tap water in the 16 largest municipalities in Malaga province shows that there are significant differences in water quality. Even within the same municipality, water quality can vary. It ranges from almost mineral water to low-quality tap water.

Although tap water is suitable for consumption everywhere, it contains a high level of limescale and a moderate amount of salt.

The newspaper SUR ordered the laboratory research. The analyses that have been updated since May 23 in Sinac, the National Drinking Water System of the Ministry of Health, were used. The tap water in the following areas has been examined;

  • Estepona
  • Marbella
  • Mijas
  • Fuengirola
  • Benalmádena
  • Torremolinos
  • Málaga
  • Rincón de la Victoria
  • Vélez-Málaga
  • Nerja
  • Antequera
  • Ronda
  • Cártama
  • Alhaurín El Grande
  • Alhaurín de la Torre

Also read: Is tap water in Spain safe to drink?

Due to the persistent drought, water supplies have been reduced. This has made mixing different water sources necessary. The process of obtaining drinking water is quite complex in terms of physical and chemical treatments. The water must then also be distributed. The research shows that municipalities with access to powerful desalination plants, such as Málaga City, can provide high-quality water, while smaller municipalities must rely on traditional methods.

Top quality tap water in Málaga city

Málaga city appears to have the best water quality, with a hardness of only 88 mg/l and a conductivity of 579 µS/cm. Vélez-Málaga also scores well, although the hardness has recently increased due to changes in the water supply. Antequera offers semi-soft water with a hardness of 160 mg/l and the lowest salinity (265 µS/cm) in the province, making it one of the best.

Municipalities with low quality

At the other end of the spectrum are municipalities such as Cártama and Mijas, where the water shows high salinity (2,220 µS/cm and 852 µS/cm) and hardness (505 mg/l and 679 mg/l). The situation in Cártama is complicated by a lack of recent investment in water infrastructure, despite a new commitment for water transfer from the Aljaima sources. Municipalities not explicitly mentioned are somewhere in the middle in terms of values.

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The role of desalination

The El Atabal desalination plant in Málaga recently increased its capacity and added new ozone treatment methods. This has contributed to the supply of high-quality tap water. This effectively refutes the prevailing idea that the tap water in Málaga is too hard to drink.

Problems with lime

Water with high lime contents can cause problems such as limescale in pipes and household appliances. It can also affect the taste of the water. Water with a hardness of less than 150 mg/l is considered soft, and water with values above 400 mg/l is classified as very hard.

Conductivity and salinity

Although there are no specific quality standards for conductivity, values above 800 µS/cm begin to noticeably affect the taste of the water. Low conductivity values indicate good water quality, with low levels of dissolved salts.

Other parameters

Other factors such as cloudiness, odour and taste are also assessed. Municipalities such as Estepona, Rincón de la Victoria, Cártama and Torremolinos have excellent turbidity values (0), while Fuengirola scores slightly less well with a value of 1. As for chlorine levels, which are essential for disinfection, values within the province vary between 0.2 mg/l and 0.8 mg/l.

Also read: In these Spanish cities the best water comes from the tap

Significant variation

Water quality in the province of Málaga varies considerably between different municipalities. While larger cities benefit from advanced water treatment facilities, smaller municipalities often struggle with the challenges of traditional methods and the impact of drought. Nevertheless, all water examined remains within legal standards for human consumption. For all results of the analysis, click here.


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