Malta's Water: Is it Safe to Drink?

17 September 2017

If you are planning your holidays in Malta this year, you might be thinking about some of the practicalities of life during your stay. For example, “Is the tap water safe to drink?”.  

You read some horror stories about unfortunate souls who drink tap water during their holidays abroad, only to end up feeling a little bit under the weather. So, what is the situation in Malta? Read on to find out more!

Tap water in Malta is perfectly safe to drink and it will not make you ill. You may hear the odd local saying different, but they usually tend to be ones selling you bottles of mineral water! Unless you are explicitly asked not to drink it, for example in a hotel or because of an issue, then it is perfectly safe for human consumption.

The tap water in Malta is desalinated sea water. Malta is a small country with no rivers, lakes, or reservoirs, therefore they get most of their running water from the sea and just take the salt out of it. 

Malta also has around 550mm of rainfall per year, a very low amount meaning that water is in very short supply. That is why when it comes to running water, it has to come from the sea, where of course it can be found in abundance!

If you drink the tap water in Malta, you will notice that it does have a slightly distinctive taste to it. This is due in part to the fact that it is desalinated and although the salt has been removed during the desalination process, the water does retain a very slightly salty taste. You will find that tap water will taste different from town to town, and even apartment to apartment depending on the pipes and filtration devices and systems that are used.

Many locals and visitors purchase bottled water to drink and as the prices are generally very low, staying hydrated doesn’t have to break the bank. The only issue is the environmental impact of buying and then throwing away plastic bottles. Which brings us to the next point. If you are environmentally conscious and are not happy using plastic bottles, why not drink the tap water but get a water filter? There are several on the market that are good value for money and can easily fit in your hand luggage. When you get to your destination, just fill it up with tap water, let it filter through, and drink away to your hearts content!

At the end of the day, it comes down to taste preferences. You are more than welcome to drink the tap water and be sure that you will remain healthy, but if you are a little fussier when it comes to your taste buds, then bottled water might be the option for you- just remember to recycle!

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