Why do we talk about tap water?

 

Tap water quality in the capital city has been very good and comparable to that of any country in Western Europe for over 10 years now.

Still, not everybody feels confident to drink tap water, because they are not sure about its quality. The reasons can be past fears of poor quality, prejudice or unawareness, all of which we intend to overturn.

We are responsible for providing our customers with high-quality and reliable services. We believe that talking about the quality of tap water and encouraging people to drink it is equally important. Water is vital to our life and health. Therefore, we must be confident and aware of what we consume.

All this is our reason to talk about tap water and that is why you find yourself on this particularly cool webpage, which lists the restaurants in Tallinn, where you can have tap water on your request.

Yours,

Tallinna Vesi

What should you know about tap water?

Almost 90% of our consumers in Tallinn (City Centre, Lasnamäe, Mustamäe, Põhja-Tallinn, Kristiine, Haabersti), also in Maardu City, Muuga, Pirita settlement and partly in Harku are supplied with drinking water produced from surface water. Approximately 10% of consumers in Tallinn use regional ground water.

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Did you know that

… the natural catchment area of Lake Ülemiste only is quite small and Lake Ülemiste alone is unable to provide sufficient water supply for Tallinners. An extensive water catchment system with a total area of almost 1,800 km2, i.e. twice as large as the Island of Hiiumaa, has been created to ensure sufficient water supply for our service area.

Ülemiste Water Treatment Plant treats water by using a treatment process extensively deployed worldwide. The treatment process lasts approximately 18 hours.

The odour and taste of tap water depend on its source and treatment process used. Surface water treated in the Water Treatment Plant and ground water have different odour and taste. Ülemiste water´s specific odour and taste are attributable to its natural organic content which is not hazardous to health. This distinction can be sensed more with warm weather in summer. The final assessment on the quality of drinking water can only be given on the basis of thorough chemical and microbiological analyses.

Did you know that

…colourless, odourless and good-tasting drinking water does not necessarily mean it is safe for drinking. Although the water may have toxic consistency, a human-being´s sense of smell and taste would not be able to identify that the water is unsafe for drinking.

Very strict legal requirements apply to the quality of drinking water, which is required to comply with the Decree No 82 issued by the Minister of Social Affairs “Drinking Water Quality and Testing Requirements, and analysis methods”. Water quality is monitored in accordance with the drinking water monitoring program, which is approved by the Health Board. The program establishes the sampling places, frequency and parameters to be analysed.

Did you know that

… water samples are taken from the raw water, i.e. water in Lake Ülemiste; its catchment area and ground water; treatment process and consumers’ taps. In Tallinn, 120 sampling points, including kindergartens, schools, and various institutions, that have been equally distributed all over the service area. 24 water samples per annum are taken from each point. This means that a total of approx. 3,000 water samples are taken from consumers´ taps each year. In terms of drinking water treatment and supply, almost 30,000 samples and approx. 80,000 analyses are carried out annually.

Water samples are analysed in Tallinna Vesi´s lab, being one of the largest water labs in Estonia. The quality of analytical results is ensured by licensed samplers and a certified quality management system (ISO 17025).

Estonian Accreditation Centre certifies the company’s internal laboratories. Health Board and the Supervisory Foundation of Water Companies in Tallinn perform independent supervision to ensure the continued quality of drinking water.

Drinking water must be safe and must not contain any hazardous infectious agents. A small amount of chlorine added to drinking water is completely harmless to a human being, whilst it is extremely efficient in keeping the water free from bacteria during its way through the networks to a consumer´s tap.

In some places pipes actually can affect tap water quality, specifically its content of iron and turbidity. In order to maintain tap water quality in the network, a small amount of chlorine is added to water. We are constantly monitoring water quality in the city network. In order to maintain the high quality of tap water, we are regularly air-scouring and flushing the water network. Generally, the age of the network only does not affect water quality, especially if a water pipeline is regularly maintained and repaired if necessary.

Did you know that

…according to our statistics, in 99 % of cases, the reason of deteriorated tap water quality is the old and poorly maintained network inside properties.

Ground water quality is also subject to a stringent regular monitoring and goes through a treatment process if necessary. Ground water pumping stations are equipped with pressure filters for removing excessive iron and manganese from ground water, providing good-quality drinking water.

Water is the basis of all life. However, clean drinking water should not be mistaken for a chemically clean or demineralised water. Drinking water contains generally 0.01 % – 0.1 % dissolved mineral components, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulphate, and bicarbonate. Direct consumption of demineralised water or its usage in cooking can bring along several health risks that are related to unbalancing the necessary minerals and microorganisms in the body.

You can find all water quality analysis here.