Is tap water safe to drink in Tenerife?

August 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

A simple test comparing bottled water, filtered and tap water

I am spending more time in Tenerife these days and am keen to understand whether the water is safe to drink out of the tap, after it’s been filtered or not at all. I’ve read lots of articles online and looked for official guidance, but I didn’t find anything especially helpful. It’s well known the water here is very hard with lots of limescale.

I reached out to Janet Anscombe, always a reliable source of help on the island, and she told me that, “technically, the water is safe to drink, but in my experience and opinion, on the coast it is not worth doing so,” she said this is not official, it’s just her opinion, and that on the coast she would only drink bottled water.

So I bought some basic water testing strips off Amazon and decided to run my own tests. I realise that my findings are far from definitive – the strips are cheap and there is a degree of guess work as to where the results fall on their guidance cards… but they have given me some clarity.

I tested water from the tap, through a Brita jug, through a PureAire Alkaline jug and Fonteide bottled water from the local supermarket.

My partner had already tried the PureAire jug. It claims to “transform ordinary tap water into antioxidant rich water to help energize and revitalise your body” and amongst other things, “reduce limescale” and “create a pH 8.5-10”. I don’t know what that means but I can tell you I like the taste.

Here’s what I found

All the results are in the ideal neutral pH range of 6-8, even the PureAire, which claims to make it even higher.

As for alkalinity, there were all high, except for the bottled water. The PureAire was actually so high it was off the chart, which is exactly what it claims to do. If you want very alkaline water, it’s doing it job.

It’s the hardness of the water that was most interesting for me. The PureAire didn’t alter the hardness, (which is maybe where all the alkalinity is coming from) so, if you’re looking to remove limescale from your kettle, there’s no point in running through the PureAire first.

Surprisingly, the Brita removed all of the hardness. It also maintained an exactly neutral pH value of 7. For me the Brita is the clear choice. It tastes good, removes the hardness and saves me hauling huge bottles of water home from the supermarket everyday.

What do you think?

I’m not an expert. I did a few tests with a simple kit so I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you done your own tests? Do you use a different kind of filter? Do you think it’s safe to drink?

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  1. i found your article interesting but wondered if you have tried analysing the spring water available for free from various taps on the edges of ths pine forests across the north of the island? we are currently in the UK but when in Tenerife we collect half a dozen large water bottles from the supermarket and then refill these from the taps above La Vega. Our Canarian neighbours all do the same thing. i have also beeen tempted to buy a natural charcoal stick which apparently lasts 3 months and "cleans" water as it sits in the bottom of a large bottle. Any thoughts? Regards Vera Douglas

  2. we have a filter system installed by a British chap and he visits twice a year to change the filters (there are two filters under the sink and the filtered water comes through its own tap) It tastes lovely

  3. We have been using a Brita water filter for many years in Tenerife. We use it for everything and wouldn’t be without it.

  4. I have a reverse osmosis drinking water system which runs through 5 levels of filter. it cost just over 100 euros from Leroy Merlin, and my husband fitted it himself. we change 4 of the filters once per year, and 1 filter every 5 years. if there were more than 2 of us in the house , the 4 filters would be changed every 6 months. It makes really good cup of tea!
    My husband drinks the water but I don’t like the taste, so I drink bottled.
    Our water is fed from a tank on the complex which is filled directly from the mains. I have no idea what maintenance this tank has if any, and when our water goes off , which it does most days because the system cannot support the number of properties on the complex, it can be cloudy to mud coloured when it comes back on. I am in the Adeje area and the water is supposed to be safe to drink, but maybe not when it is supplied through a secondary system.

  5. We live in Costa Adeje, and have been drinking the tap water for 18 months now. I usually boil the water then keep it in the fridge , because I dont like the taste of the water straight from the tap. We have had no ill effects so far.
    I tested the water with ph strips and it was 7.5

  6. Hi Gary,
    Many thanks for the helpful article – great to see your results from the water testing. I’ve been wondering the exact same thing about the drinking water in Tenerife..I’m currently up in the North near Puerto de la Cruz.

    Ideally I would like to use a Brita filter for all my water drinking needs but I am wondering if there is sometimes a risk of bacteria in the tap water…from my understanding the Brita filters remove limescale, metals, and chlorine but I do not believe they remove bacteria which could lead to immediate sickness.

    Or perhaps the chlorine that the government adds to the tap water would kill any possible bacteria?

    Any thoughts on this greatly appreciated.

    PS…isn’t it surprising how difficult it is to find good answers on this topic…water being one of our most basic needs.

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