• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Tap water 'better than bottled brands'

The Local · 28 Jun 2012, 16:17

Published: 28 Jun 2012 16:17 GMT+02:00

Consumer rights watchdog the Stiftung Warentest tested 29 different brands of bottled water and also tap water, for mineral content, contamination levels and retail price.

They found that two thirds of bottled water contained barely any of the minerals that they claimed to have and in many cases, drinking a glass of the wet stuff from a tap was by far more beneficial health-wise.

Germs are also tricky for the bottled water industry - as in over a third of the bottles tested the Warentest experts found some sort of bacteria. This would not necessarily be dangerous, but the potential was there for people with weakened immune systems, and babies, to become ill.

It depended, they said, on the type of germs in the water and the same standards applied to both tap and bottled water – which by law can contain a certain level of harmless bacteria.

But tap water was subjected to much more rigorous testing for contamination from chemicals such as pesticides or uranium – with lower levels acceptable for tap rather than bottled water.

Pricing differed wildly too, as inspectors found that in the western city of Cologne for example, inhabitants pay just 0.3 cents for a litre of water fresh from the tap.

If they were to go to a discount supermarket, this would go up to 13 cents per litre. Those coughing up for well known brands such as Vittel or Gerolsteiner were paying over 50 cents per litre.

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:39 June 28, 2012 by Omufu
Bottled water is the most insane waste of resources and barely justifiable in a country with great tap water. If the taste of tap water really bothers you then buy a filter.

Google "bottled water infographic" for a quick overview of the facts and figures showing why it's such a crazy-bad idea in general (especially for the environment).
23:21 June 28, 2012 by McM
I'll drink to that. I recall a comedian who was in fear of the car industry changing to water powered engines. 'have you ever bought water from a service station?' he queried. I cost more per liter than petrol!
05:03 June 29, 2012 by Lisa Rusbridge
When visiting a friend's home I asked for water from the kitchen tap since they only served alcohol with meals. From their expressions one would have thought I asked to drink from a dirty toilet. I didn't care for the carbonated water and simply think tap water with lemon is far tastier with a meal. There was no lemon though, so I was good with the plain water. They were still mystified.

Fortunately I knew not to dare request tap water in a restaurant because apparently it is considered rude, and may have gotten me shunned and banished from the country!
10:01 June 29, 2012 by JDee
bottled water is a useful convenience when you're on the road but buying bottled water to take home is insane, basically the human brain is very primitive and delusional and that's why many people do it..
11:52 June 29, 2012 by Wrench
I always ask for tap water at restaurants here in Germany and the people look at me as if I was something they just scraped of the bottom of their shoe. I don't like sparkling water anyway (unless you add a little vodka) and for some reason that is all they serve. Why is that?
15:03 June 29, 2012 by Leo Strauss
German tap water is great and has neither florid nor Bosphenol A!
Today's headlines
Germany to tighten checks of soldiers amid jihadist fears
Photo: DPA.

The German army are planning stricter checks of their soldiers as officials fear that jihadists could be using the armed forces as a way to train.

New train line to cut 2 hours off Berlin-Munich trips
Photo: DPA

It has been 25 years in the making, but on Wednesday the rail line that is set to mark a new era for travel between Germany's capital and its economic powerhouse went live.

AfD leader attacked and beaten in Mainz
Uwe Junge. Photo: DPA

The leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Rhineland-Palatinate was attacked on the street on Tuesday evening by a group of young men.

100 flights cancelled due to Frankfurt airport security alert
Travelers being evacuated from Terminal 1 of Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: Some 100 flights were cancelled on Wednesday at Frankfurt Airport after the major transfer hub went on alert because a woman had managed to evade security checks.

Record 125k people file suit against Canada trade deal
A leader of one of the groups opposing the trade deal stacks another box full of lawsuit documents, presented to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA.

More than 125,000 Germans have filed the largest citizen lawsuit in German history against the controversial proposed CETA trade deal between Canada and the EU.

Merkel: 'Germany will remain Germany'
Photo: DPA.

One year after Angela Merkel first declared "we can do this," leading to a huge uptick in refugees applying for asylum, the Chancellor reflected this week on her policies and the future of Germany.

Nazi beach resort ruin turned into luxury playground
Prora. Photo: DPA

One of the biggest relics left behind by the Nazis is undergoing a radical transformation on a German island, harnessing a property boom to become a luxury tourist destination.

Berlin plans to be first state to arm police with tasers
Photo: DPA.

Berlin's plans to arm police patrols with taser guns would make it the first German state to implement extensive use of the electroshock weapon.

Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
7,389
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd