The old question about Tenerife tap water – is it safe to drink?

I often have reason to report about water supplies, whether pipe breakages, or pipe renewals, or problems with quality of supply, or even desalination or purification plants, but to most of us, the real question is simply “can we drink it?” Recently, I was speaking to Gary Williams, a singer, writer and broadcaster who, by his own admission, is not an expert in this field but he has done some tests on a range of drinking water options here and is seeking opinions from readers. For my own part, I live in the mountains and our drinking water is as clean as can be, but a friend with kidney stones was told by his doctor here only to drink Fonteide to avoid further problems. Gary has written THIS piece, and of course you’re welcome to post your own views here or, it might be better to do so on Gary’s own website.


  1. We live in Los Realejos and have been drinking the water straight from the tap for 20 years without a problem. We were told by a friend who was a water engineer, that it was safer to drink than bottled water. This was proved by our son who has Crohn’s disease and has to be careful about what he eats and drinks as bottled water water makes him ill due to additives in it.

  2. There is a hamlet outside Santiago del Teide which has a spring. There are very obvious notices saying that it is not verified for human consumption but that doesn’t stop people coming in their cars and trucks to fill their bottles. In theory you are limited to 50 litres at a time but I have seen people taking more. I tasted the water and it seemed fine but I don’t trust it to make use of it myself.

  3. In an island where water is in short supply one should perhaps be aware that reverse osmosis is an extremely wasteful process. It takes 5 litres of water to produce 1 litre of drinkable water – the other4 litres goes down the drain!!

  4. Hi Janet, we recently moved to a finca in fasnia and get the water « from the mountains » which people buy in minutes and we use for domestic purpose, however we were told not to drink it. We are considering buying a reverse osmosis system. I am very interested in your experience in this, because it is difficult to find reliable information on this here, and since we have a small 6 months old baby we cant be taking any chances. Many thanks for your help!

    1. Author

      I agree it’s difficult to find good information, and of course any problems might be played down or even hidden, so making accurate details even more difficult to find. The water you’re talking about could be an agricultural supply if it’s bought from a local association of finca owners who buy in minutes, so might not be suitable for domestic use. The best I can suggest is to speak to your local water company or Ayuntamiento – either will have the details about all supplies in the municipality and be able to tell you if yours is fit for domestic use. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should drink it, of course, but at least you’ll know whether it’s supposed to be OK to drink or not.

  5. Hi Janet, where do you get these water test kits from please.

    1. Author

      I don’t know, I’m afraid. The best thing is to use the link in the post above to Gary’s own site and ask him – he’s the one who bought them so will know.

  6. My wife has osteoporosis (brittle bones) and was advised by the specialist not to drink any water with a high calcium content. This seemed odd since the problem is caused by calcium deficiency in the bones, but apparently high calcium content in drinking water reduces the effect of the medication she takes (Fossimax). Fonteide was the recommended drinking water so we have that all the time.

  7. We live in the mountains and our water doesn’t taste of anything horrible at all, we do use a Reverse Osmosis system, and never buy bottle water.

  8. The water varies with its source, being exceptionally hard in the Los Gigantes area (is that where you are?). The galleries that water comes from have their pH monitored as one of the means of measuring the activity of our volcano, Mt Teide. In my experience all tap water here is safe to drink, but whether you like the taste is another thing. It certainly tastes better after filtration.

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