How do People In France Rate The Tap Water?
Travellers and residents of France have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
Tap water ratings
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 27% Low
- Water Pollution 39% Low
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 73% High
- Water Quality 61% High
Can you drink the tap water in France?
The US Center for Disease Control’s travel advisory confirms the safety of the tap water in France (source). However, it would be best if you take special precautions toward the unregulated water sources in some areas. Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
What do people in France think about the tap water?
Tap water country-wide is drinkable. Some fountains in villages and towns also spout drinking water – ‘eau potable’ means ‘drinking water’, ‘non potable’ means undrinkable. In the chic capital, there is even the odd drinking fountain gushing sparkling water.
Fixed price menus seldom include beverages (if drinks are included, the menu will state 'boisson comprise'). If you want water, waiters will often try to sell you still mineral water (Évian, Thonon) or sparkling water (Badoit, Perrier), at a premium; ask for a carafe d'eau (bottle of tap water), which is safe to drink (and, by law, must be provided free of charge when you order food at a restaurant). Water never comes with ice in it unless so requested (and water with ice may not be available).
Tap water (Eau du robinet) is drinkable, except in rare cases such as rural rest areas and sinks in train bathrooms, in which case it will be clearly signposted as Eau non potable. Eau potable is potable water. (You may, however, not like the taste which may be chlorinated, bottled water is common.)
Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.
Sources and Resources
Check tap water safety for other popular destinations
Check tap water safety for other countries in Europe
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Caledonia
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- South Georgia And South Sandwich Islands
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City