Water: the source of many questions

By Audrey SomnardLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

In the context of the fight against climate change, is it still reasonable to drink bottled water? Is tap water as safe and healthy? The Journal has taken a look at the match: tap water versus bottled water.

In Luxembourg, the Ministry of the Environment indicates that the average consumption of drinking water is 120,000 m3/day. This corresponds to a consumption of more than 200 litres per person per day. By comparison, the World Health Organization estimates the daily drinking water requirement for each person at 100 litres. Approximately 50% of the water used for consumption in the country comes from underground resources and 50% from the waters of the Upper Sûre lake. The water collected or treated in this way is distributed by the municipalities to their residents. A survey conducted by TNS-Ilres in 2020 showed that 82% of the population in Luxembourg already drink tap water, but 42% still do not do so every day.

Henry-Michel Cauchie is a microbiologist at List, and he affirms that tap water in Luxembourg is of excellent quality, especially since it is one of the most tested food products: "Luxembourg is a rich industrialized country, the infrastructure is recent and well maintained, and it is also publicly managed, so there is no commercial issue involved." The bottled water sector, however, has the argument that tap water passes through pipes that are not always in very good condition, which can encourage the appearance of bacteria. But the researcher assures us that pathogens harmful to health are absent from tap water in Luxembourg, which is tested very regularly: "Tap water does not represent any danger to health, on the other hand, bacterial flora can develop in the pipes, but this does not pose a problem. Tap water is subject to the same regulations as bottled water." Mineral water is not subject to the European directive on drinking water, it must be pure and have specific properties, such as a high level of calcium or sulphates.

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Water:the source of many questions

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