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Any Drinking Water Concerns?

Raz

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Gathering info for a future trip
Hello,
Will be commencing on my first Camino this fall. From everything that I have read, the drinking water is safe to drink untreated, and it is safe to fill up bottles from public fountains, cafes etc. found in towns and villages along the Camino Frances.
However, I recently spoke with someone who drank only bottled water that she bought.
Is it at all necessary to buy bottled water, to "treat" water with purification tablets, or to have a water bottle with a filter?
Since I wasn't able to find anything about this on this forum, I am assuming that the water is fine, just the way it is?
Just wondering if anyone has any advice or has had any unfortunate situations along the route that one should be aware of.
Thanks!
 
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D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
Fewer of the fountains guarantee that they provide safe water once you get to Galicia, and state on their signs that their safety is not guaranteed. But water in the pubs, hostels, etc. remains consistently fine all along the CF. Spouse carries a "life straw" only in case he runs out of water in a place where the only fountain is not guaranteed. If it says "non potable" he does not even use the straw (and neither should anyone try to use that water). The life straw removes the need for tablets and weighs very little, and does not "run out".
I drink very little water in general (I don't recommend this -- I have 3 kidneys and it complicates things). I get my water from fresh fruits, and from the other things I drink, so I don't even recall what I did in Galicia. I think I just stuck to my 2 litres of milk each day (plus coffees, OJ, and fresh fruit).
We were warned by a hospitalero in SJPDP not to use the fountains in Galicia. But again -- any bar will let you fill up when you buy your lunch and breakfast.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Tom North is right. The water's fine. I've walked 3 Camino's so far, starting the 4th one next week.
Always drank water at bars, albergues and fountains. Never had any problems.

But, if you're stomach is easily upset, you might choose bottled water. Otherwise, no problem.
About 20 million Spanish drink their water without having any problems, so I guess you'll be fine...
 
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Rover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hello,
Will be commencing on my first Camino this fall. From everything that I have read, the drinking water is safe to drink untreated, and it is safe to fill up bottles from public fountains, cafes etc. found in towns and villages along the Camino Frances.
However, I recently spoke with someone who drank only bottled water that she bought.
Is it at all necessary to buy bottled water, to "treat" water with purification tablets, or to have a water bottle with a filter?
Since I wasn't able to find anything about this on this forum, I am assuming that the water is fine, just the way it is?
Just wondering if anyone has any advice or has had any unfortunate situations along the route that one should be aware of.
Thanks!

The short answer is this - - - the water along the Camino is safe. I stewed over the issue too but opted to listen what fellow pilgrims said . . . the water from public fountains in the villages and town squares, bars and alburges is all safe. If the water is not potable, it will be marked accordingly. If you are ever in doubt, pass, portable water is never far from you. Be well.
 

Robert Long

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Camino Portuguse Oct 2018
Just one more voice to assure you that the water is OK. We three walked the entire CF two years ago and always used the water available at public fountains. Fountains that are not potable are well marked. As a reference I live in the Sierra Nevada foothills and our drinking water is snow melt. I know some folks from home, when they drink water which is very hard, experience gastro issues; but we did not.

Buen Camino
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
What?????
Don't you know that carrying extra parts is just excess weight to carry around????

:D But trust me on this one....getting rid of one as a weight loss idea...doesn't work!! Tried that 8 years back...thought i'd be down a pound...no such luck! ;)
 

AcrossTheWater3008

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances x 2 - 2016, 2017
C Portuguese x 2 2016, 2017
C Muxia/Finisterra x 2 2016, 17
CdM
The water in Spain is fine to drink apparently... but I do get “controlled” diarrhoea when drinking the fountain water. I do have a sensitive tummy ... my daughter and sister were fine when they walked with me on separate occasions and, as far as I know, most pilgrims are ok drinking from certified fountains...
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
No,
no concerns, water is plentiful and safe to drink...
 

Yoyo

✿ Se hace el camino al andar. ✿
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The water in Spain is fine to drink apparently... but I do get “controlled” diarrhoea when drinking the fountain water. I do have a sensitive tummy ... my daughter and sister were fine when they walked with me on separate occasions and, as far as I know, most pilgrims are ok drinking from certified fountains...

I thought I got light diarrhoea from drinking Spanish tap/fountain water, but it then turned out it was a reaction to the daily dose of magnesium I was taking while on the Camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
@Raz Good advice given here. Pay attention in Galicia; it is a heavily agricultural area, and the running water is not to be trusted. But for the fountains, if marked "potable" it should be safe.

On a personal note: All guidebooks emphasize the importance of carrying enough water. So I always carry two 1/2 l. bottles. And I stop at (the frequent) bars now and then for a pint of beer. Never had any stomach problems in 10 years on the Camino... In Santiago I empty the water bottles and get rid of them.
 
Last edited:

HenkSlb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese [April 2016]
Via de la Plata/Sanabres [March, April 2017]
Last year the tap water on the middle section of the VdlP was definitely light brown. Usable for washing but not for drinking. In Galicia the water was ok again
 

Rover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hello,
Will be commencing on my first Camino this fall. From everything that I have read, the drinking water is safe to drink untreated, and it is safe to fill up bottles from public fountains, cafes etc. found in towns and villages along the Camino Frances.
However, I recently spoke with someone who drank only bottled water that she bought.
Is it at all necessary to buy bottled water, to "treat" water with purification tablets, or to have a water bottle with a filter?
Since I wasn't able to find anything about this on this forum, I am assuming that the water is fine, just the way it is?
Just wondering if anyone has any advice or has had any unfortunate situations along the route that one should be aware of.
Thanks!

The water along the Camino is potable including village fountains, bars and alburges. If it is not, it will be so marked. I wrestled with this also and had zero problems. Put the issue behind you. One word of advice. As you know, water is heavy. With any number of opportunities to refill your bladder or bottles, there is no need to carry more than 1 or possibly two litters with you. Happy Trails
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I didn’t have any problems with water but I also never filled up at a fountain. I usually fill my bottles at the albergue in the monrning and supplement with Aquarius lemon after lunch. If I stopped for coffee and use the facilities I usually top up by asking the bar person to refill my bottle or buy another Aquarius. I also have a sawyer mini filter which attaches to my water bottles. Once a week I buy some cranberry juice (mom’s advise ) to help clean my kidneys, usually do that on a rest day as cranberry juice will make you pee more often.
Just be practical ...drink vino tinto and cereveza instead ;) I’m sure the alcohol will kill anything moving in The water or at least make the little buggers drunk enough to not matter hahhaha just joking
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If marked potable then the water is safe. If non-potable then unsafe. Water treatment on the non-potable water may get rid of bacteria and viruses but unfilterable toxins may still get through. If the water is marked as not guaranteed then you have to ask. Some villages mark it as not guaranteed to avoid the charges of having to get the water tested periodically.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
I have found one or two fountains with no signs as to whether the water was drinkable or not, but generally they are signed. As a general rule (and there are exceptions to every rule), if the fountain is free-flowing it is probably non-potable. But if there is a tap, it is almost certainly potable. I stayed at an albergue in Sebrayo (Camino del Norte) where we were advised that the tap water in the albergue was not suitable for drinking. We were also asked to be economical with showers etc, as there was a water shortage in the area.
 
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