This Morning's Flood, Jean-Marc in the Buff, French Cussing and Visit our Winery April 15th
Common sense in French

Can you drink tap water in France? Readers comment about water safety, share tips, warnings

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France boasts an abundant supply of water. But can you drink from the tap? Is it potable, or drinkable? Just where does tap water come from and, more importantly, What is in it?

TODAY'S WORD: l'eau du robinet

    : tap water

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Eau du robinet. Peut-on boire l'eau du robinet en France?
Tap water. Can we drink tap water in France?


Is our water in France safe to drink? (Maybe too safe?)

by Kristi Espinasse

As I type this report, it feels as though my tongue has been stripped of its taste buds after drinking a glass of water from our kitchen sink. But before causing a national panic--and before this blog disappears from the radar silenced by the powers that be--let me say that, up until 4 days ago, I have always drunk tap water in France!

And yet, I can't help but wonder: are they putting something into our water? 

Wait! Before calling me paranoid, or "one of those conspiracy hurluberlus" (true, I have been glued to "prepper" videos, lately, as I stuff our property (our prepper homestead?) with edible plants, trees and "Patriot" blueberries

Strangely, our tap water did not taste (or smell!) this way before last week's mouse-induced flood, so maybe it's our fault? But I can't picture Jean-Marc, naked in the pigeon hut, pouring cleaner down the water pipe (on second thought where exactly is the water pipe?). Before I start to suspect my husband--as well as The State of France--let's go over the facts. And here are the facts: our tap water tastes like la javel!

As I sit here sucking on my tongue (hoping to get my taste buds to stand up again after being mowed down by municipal water!), I ask myself, Is it simply a coincidence? That just as we recovered from Friday's flood, and repaired the water pipe, the nearest water treatment plant suddenly changed its recipe for tap water? Adding tons of chlore! POW this stuff is strong!!!

Meantime, we are drinking bottled water, and bottling up our tap water to be analyzed in Toulon. As for my poor bleached tongue, I can still enjoy my mother-in-law's just-made tapenade! So maybe taste buds do regenerate?

In the comments, below, share your experience with tap water. Do you drink it? Why? Why not? Do you drink l'eau du robinet when in France? Should I buy a filter? Have water delivered? Thanks for sharing all you know about eau.

Update: several of you have recommended the Brita Filter Pitcher and the Big Berkey water filter 

Tapenade olive spread green black olives triangle shapes
Michèle-France's tapenade. She makes two types, from green olives or black olives.


potable = drinkable
un hurluberlu = an eccentric, oddball, extravagant person
la tapenade = green or black olive spread
la javel = bleach
le chlore = chlorine
l'eau du robinet (f) = tap water

Eau non potable undrinkable water not for drinking
No filling your water bottle here! On an ancient fountain in Brignoles, the double warning reads: Eau non potable ("not drinking water")

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