I was born and raised in the Netherlands, and there, it was always normal to drink tap water. I thought the quality of tap water in the Netherlands was pretty good; you don’t taste any chlorine, chemicals or anything else. Everyone I knew drank tap water.
Ten years ago, I moved to northern Italy, and immediately began drinking the tap water there. The water tasted even better than what I was used to drinking in the Netherlands.
Swedish friends of mine moved to Italy at the same time, but they were more skeptical of the water quality, despite its great taste. Before they began drinking it, they sent a sample to a Swedish lab to investigate the quality. The result showed that the water quality in our area was even better than the Swedish tap water they were used to. So from that time on, we all happily drank the best quality Italian tap water we had ever known.
Once we all became more accustomed to our new home, we started to learn that most other Italians do not drink tap water; instead, they buy their water in plastic bottles in the supermarkets. The major reason is that they think bottled water is higher in quality. In the past, this was definitely true. But the current tap water quality is as least as good – if not better – than what's in plastic bottles.
To reduce the number of plastic bottles sold (and trashed), and to restore the faith of the public in tap water quality, the local government of a town close to where we live came up with a great idea. At the entrance of the town along the main road they built “La Casa dell’ Acqua." (The House of Water.) For 10% the cost of the plastic water bottle, you can fill up on extra filtered tap water here. On the outside of the house, you can find updated information about the quality of this water, which is great!
We went there this morning and had to wait our turn as people filled up their reusable bottles for the whole week. Some of them had plastic bottles, while others had glass. We filled ours up in stainless steel, and will happily drink the best tap water we know, without generating any waste. It doesn't get much better than that.
Klean Voice contributor Henry Hoogenveen is a passionate advocate for the outdoors, and represents Klean Kanteen in Europe. As such, he shares events, information, trends and happenings from across the ocean right here on the Klean Blog.