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Drinking water sources

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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I have walked the Camino Ingles a couple of times and had no problems drinking from fuentes. At a couple I had to wait while local people filled large containers with the water for use at home. Clearly they thought it was better than the municipal supply. If water quality is dubious there will normally be a clear sign saying "non potable".
 
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola, I understand your concerns about the Fuentes. My rule of thumb - if the locals are using them then they are ok; if they are sign posted as not potable then steer clear.
As for the plastic water bottles - I usually bring one of my metal bottles but from experience I know that there are days when extra water is required so I buy 750 ml or 1 litre water bottle from any super market and then reuse it for the next 5 or 7 days. When it achieves the grotty stage it goes in the appropriate recycle bin and I buy another (if required).
Buen Camino
 
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Past OR future Camino
2016 and 2022 in April
Hola, I understand your concerns about the Fuentes. My rule of thumb - if the locals are using them then they are ok; if they are sign posted as not potable then steer clear.
As for the plastic water bottles - I usually bring one of my metal bottles but from experience I know that there are days when extra water is required so I buy 750 ml or 1 litre water bottle from any super market and then reuse it for the next 5 or 7 days. When it achieves the grotty stage it goes in the appropriate recycle bin and I buy another (if required).
Buen Camino
Thanks! Sounds like a plan.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Water from fountains that are marked with "agua / aqua potable" is safe to drink.

No time to worry. Even in the event that you will find no fountain, the next tienda will have some water for you.
 
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John Ferguson

Member
Past OR future Camino
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Completed Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
We have read that the fuentes along the Camino are a safe source for drinking water, are they? We are trying to avoid plastic bottles accumulation and stomach issues. Thanks
No issues for us using the fuentes.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
We have read that the fuentes along the Camino are a safe source for drinking water, are they? We are trying to avoid plastic bottles accumulation and stomach issues. Thanks
People tell me they are safe but I pass. My son had a serious bout with stomach issues. Imodium can be your friend.
 
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stevelm1

Recovering Perigrino
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CP 2019, Jakobswege Germany 2022 or 23.
I avoided the fuentes myself. I know a lot of folks use them and have no problems but I did. I only filled up my water bladder one time from a fountain and a couple of days later I noticed the drinking tube was starting to grow something green. I found tap water plentiful and never had a problem with anything turning my tube green before or after. I saw someone above recommend using micropur tabs if you do get the water. Personally, I just stick with tap water.
 
Past OR future Camino
2016 and 2022 in April
I avoided the fuentes myself. I know a lot of folks use them and have no problems but I did. I only filled up my water bladder one time from a fountain and a couple of days later I noticed the drinking tube was starting to grow something green. I found tap water plentiful and never had a problem with anything turning my tube green before or after. I saw someone above recommend using micropur tabs if you do get the water. Personally, I just stick with tap water.
Thank you.
 
Past OR future Camino
travelling from SJPP in early May 2014
We have read that the fuentes along the Camino are a safe source for drinking water, are they? We are trying to avoid plastic bottles accumulation and stomach issues. Thanks
I walked CF from Villefranca del Bierzo in 2018. I started with stomach cramps, diarrhoea and nausea from day 3. It certainly reduced my stamina and eventually back home, after 1 month, I was treated for campylobacter infection. I did fill my bottle from a fountain in Ruitelan. It had no warnings on but looked well used. I suspected that was the cause. None of my party used it or got sick. Don't use fountains if you have an alternative.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
I do the same as @Saint Mike II, buy a plastic bottle, preferably the heavier duty type (as in the sparkling water bottles) & re-use/re-fill for as long as feasible.
Also agree with Mike re; safety of fuentes. I apply the same rule as with restaurants...if the locals are partaking, it must be good!
Happy trails.
👣 🌏
How many times have you seen cats and dogs using the same fonts? It's like the font as your entering Spain, how many horses and sheep did you see coming over the Pyrenees? It may be spring water but it's also known as percolation. If people walking want to get sick or take the chance 3900 miles from home. I'm not judging actions of others but I'm just speaking for myself.
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2023?
How many times have you seen cats and dogs using the same fonts? It's like the font as your entering Spain, how many horses and sheep did you see coming over the Pyrenees? It may be spring water but it's also known as percolation. If people walking want to get sick or take the chance 3900 miles from home. I'm not judging actions of others but I'm just speaking for myself.
By 'locals', I meant of the human variety 😄 ..& no, I haven't personally witnessed dogs or cats drinking from the fountains (maybe the 'leftovers' in the trough).
As for percolation, human beings have been utilising the natural processes of filtration for millennia!
Each to their own but I'm glad of the fuentes...they can be real saviours.
Happy trails.
👣 🌏
 
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maxcruzing

New Member
Past OR future Camino
My wife, Penny and I completed the Costal Camino.
We have read that the fuentes along the Camino are a safe source for drinking water, are they? We are trying to avoid plastic bottles accumulation and stomach issues. Thanks
My wife and I completed the Coastal Camino de Portuguese last August and there were some water sources with signs that the water was not drinkable. I would also suggest adding lemon juice and slices for added favor.
 

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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I avoided the fuentes myself. I know a lot of folks use them and have no problems but I did. I only filled up my water bladder one time from a fountain and a couple of days later I noticed the drinking tube was starting to grow something green.
Yes, that it fact.
Fountain-water is likely not chorinated, so you find algae and sometimes other living organisms in it. That is the greenish plaque after a few days. If you use fountain water on the way, you have to rinse your bladder / bottles daily several times in the albergue / Hostel / Hotel to avoid growing of algae. The tap-water is chlorinated (sometimes heavily, the more south you go, the more chlorine, sometime you will smell and definetly taste it).
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
On the Francés at least, many of the fountains you find in the villages do have chlorinated water, too. Those are usually the ones where you have to push a button to get the water flowing. Push it once or twice before you start collecting water if it looks as if it hasn't run for a while. Clean the bottle every day with hot water and let it dry completely over night.

I like to add 1/2 magnesium tablet to my bottle to mask the chlorine taste. Where I'm from drinking water is usually not chlorinated, so it feels like drinking the water from a swimming pool in spain otherwise ...

I always use the fountain water if it has an 'agua potable' sign. If not, I have some micropur tablets for emergencies.

You could also bring a life straw or a Sawyer mini filter If you're worried, they don't add much weight. But as long as you follow common rules you should be fine. Spain is a EU country, everything is regulated. So if a fountain explicitly says 'drinking water', then I trust it's safe to drink. Tap water is also fine to drink. No need to buy bottled water all the time (apart from it tasting better!).

Personally never had a problem. The only time I got stomach problems on a Camino was after eating undercooked fried eggs in a restaurant...
 

Lleslie

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Via Podiensis (2018)
When one has a stomach 'upset' often the water is blamed where as it's much more likely poor hand hygeine after toileting, touching contaminated door handles, taps and surfaces etc, is the cause. How many of us clean our hands after touching the tap/faucet to fill our bottles and then handle our bottle caps/lids? Just a thought.
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
The Inglés (as this thread is on that forum) is a little different as it has municipal drinking fountains all along the route. If you start at the very beginning there is a pilgrim office and to the right as you look at it is a fountain, the helpful guy there will show you the fountain as he did for me yesterday. Hopefully this google maps image has it right in the middle, by the pillar next to the alleyway which is the camino.

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.478...4!1s2EDfRlRNUmK5mstFi4mGAg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Each fountain has the distance to the next one and a QR code so presumably you can plan your route by water bottles.
 
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Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
We have read that the fuentes along the Camino are a safe source for drinking water, are they? We are trying to avoid plastic bottles accumulation and stomach issues. Thanks
Our habit's are you avoid fountains, bit to each their own. Don't want to get sick for a thousand miles from home.
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
OK so I scanned the QR code, and it turns out this network of drinking fountains is new.

IMG_20220520_105847972.jpg

The website is https://lifewaterway.eu/

The English landing page says:

CREATING A NEW CONCEPT OF NATURAL DRINKING FOUNTAINS AND DEMONSTRATING ITS VIABILITY ALONG ST JAMES' WAY​

[Google map]

The map above shows the location of the (28) new drinking fountains that make up the pilot network of the Life Water Way, whose operation will be evaluated over a period of 12 months, which will end in March 2023.

(Photo taken at 08 Fonte da Buíña)
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I only use the outdoor water sources if there is an on/off spigot. I refrain from any that have continuous running water or say non-potable.
 

Introibo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
I'd exercise a little caution with fountains marked on the Ingles route. The water from those that are working is fine. But don't assume all the fountains are operational. On the Betanzos to Bruma stage the fountain by the reservoir at Encorro de Beche has not been connected yet. There is a tap at the picnic site, but the water tasted heavily of chlorine. Fine to drink, but not pleasant. As I descended into As Travesas I spied another of the new fountains. Thankfully I didn't pour away the water I'd already picked up, as the fountain had a sign saying "Under test, please do not use". So I didn't.
For clarity, I found that the water from these new fountains was fine and I drank deeply from all I came across. But not all of them are operational yet.
At some point on this stage, I came across an elderly man doing what elderly men do best, messing about in a shed. I asked him for some water. He filled my bottle from a tap in his shed saying the water had come from the hills. It was cold, pure and sweet. It seemed to have done him no harm and it did me no harm either. God Bless him
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'd exercise a little caution with fountains marked on the Ingles route. The water from those that are working is fine. But don't assume all the fountains are operational. On the Betanzos to Bruma stage the fountain by the reservoir at Encorro de Beche has not been connected yet. There is a tap at the picnic site, but the water tasted heavily of chlorine. Fine to drink, but not pleasant. As I descended into As Travesas I spied another of the new fountains. Thankfully I didn't pour away the water I'd already picked up, as the fountain had a sign saying "Under test, please do not use". So I didn't.
For clarity, I found that the water from these new fountains was fine and I drank deeply from all I came across. But not all of them are operational yet.
At some point on this stage, I came across an elderly man doing what elderly men do best, messing about in a shed. I asked him for some water. He filled my bottle from a tap in his shed saying the water had come from the hills. It was cold, pure and sweet. It seemed to have done him no harm and it did me no harm either. God Bless him
Yes I've just been caught out too. The one opposite the bar Casa Avelina in Travesas too. Fortunately they filled me up at the bar as I had already emptied my bottle.
 
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lizwalking

New Member
Past OR future Camino
FR07,08,15,19.NOR10,11.Prim12.VDLP12.HOSP15,19.22
2 days ago, on the Camino Ingles in Carral albergue in Sergude I read about a project to have modern drinking water fonts every 6km. The next day I began to spot them, and used them. I think they are on the route before Sergude.
Sorry, I see this information has been posted already https://lifewaterway.eu/

By the way I found it very difficult to get out of A Coruna. There should be a special compostela for this😂 Some signs on the back of lamposts, not visible until you pass them! I should have realised that if John Brierley said it in his 2022 guidebook, it is true. Anyway the pilgrims office was a delight to pass through 2 hours ago, less than 1 hour, and I used a pen and paper instead of the QR code
 

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