Extra chlorine in tap water in France due to Covid-19

If you think you have noticed a change in the taste of your tap water in France recently, you are almost certainly right, as some water suppliers have increased the chlorine levels recently. We explain why...

5 April 2020
The water is still safe to drink, but you may notice a slight change in taste
By Connexion journalist

Over the past few weeks, as many businesses have closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, in some regions, overall water consumption has dropped.

As a result, more water has been sitting stagnant in pipes for longer than normal, prompting water suppliers in some areas to increase chlorine levels in the water, to ensure that it stays clean for longer.

This means that the water might taste slightly different, and some people may also report skin feeling dryer after showering or hand washing.

Not all regions are affected, but the phenomenon has been especially noted in the Grand Est region, said northern regional newspaper La Voix du Nord.

In the commune of Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, a statement from local technical services management said: “Normally, we see 0.15mg/L at the exit of the disinfection station, whereas now, we should be at between 0.3 and 0.5mg/L.”

The water is still 100% safe to drink and use. 

The chlorine has been added due to the drop in water consumption, not because there is a risk from Covid-19 itself.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also confirmed that there is no risk of being contaminated with Covid-19 through tap water that is normally safe to drink (as it is in France).

National water centre Le Centre d’Information de l’Eau has also said: “Several methods of disinfection - such as chlorination - eliminate all viruses, including coronavirus.”

As a result, tap water remains safe to drink in France, and it is not necessary to use bottled water. If you are able to taste the higher chlorine levels, you can get rid of the taste by leaving tap water in a jug or container for an hour or two before drinking.

Read more: Brittany second home owners force Covid-19 water ban

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