Madrid Tap Water

Madrid has the best tap water in Spain, which comes from the neighboring mountains. Taste tests versus bottled water showed no differences in taste. Since each small bottle of bottled water costs 1 euro or more, you can save some money. Fill your bottle at your hotel bathroom. Incidentally, the tap water in every big city in Spain is perfectly safe to drink and meets all the sanitary rules. People drink bottled water only for its taste, because the tap water in some cities may have a funny taste for them. Try the tap water first before ordering bottled water. At restaurants, to order tap water, ask for "agua del grifo".

The water for Madrid comes from the Canal de Isabel II, which provides water for 6 million inhabitants of the Community of Madrid. The source of the water is the Sierra del Guadarrama, the mountains surrounding Madrid. When the mountain ice melts, it flows into seven rivers, which are the Alberche, Guadarrama-Aulencia, Guadalix, Manzanares, Lozoya, Jarama and Sorbe. Parts of these rivers flow into 14 reservoirs, where the water is stored. The biggest reservoir is the one at El Atazar. The water is treated before distribution to consumers. One of the most important factors is that the water from the rivers is of a very high quality, and many of the rivers are crystal clear, free from contamination, and harboring trout.

There are some neighborhoods just north of the city such as Fuente del Fresno and Cuidal Campo where there is a public advisory not to drink the water due to high arsenic content. These neighborhoods are using local wells rather then the Canal de Isabel. Here it is recommended to drink bottled water.