We only propagate safe habits! The Tap water is safe for the health. It is guaranteed by the Central Laboratory that controls the water discharged to the urban system and certain points of the Krakow urban system.
The water can be drunk straight from the tap. Water boiling is basically speaking neutralizing (killing) microorganisms that are in the water with high temperature. The supplied water to the urban system is free from the disease-causing microorganisms. Thereupon, neutralizing microorganisms in the water which we will drink because is “clean” seems to be pointless. ( microorganisms were being killed in the process of the disinfection in the water treatment plant).
Moreover water boiling causes the precipitation of some minerals in the form of the residue, especially the calcium and magnesium compounds. In the result it softens the water and impoverishes its mineral composition.
The water quality from the Krakow Waterworks and other big waterworks in Poland is as high as in other European cities.
The law requirements concerning the quality of water intended for human consumption are the same in the whole European Union.
Water in Krakow taps is clean and healthy, moreover 1 liter contains over 300 mg of mineral elements including bio-elements such as calcium and magnesium. These compounds are found in the “raw” water (water that is not yet treated), that flows through the substratum filled with the minerals, and are not removed while the water is treated.
The sense of taste and smell is perceived by various receptors in the mouth, throat and nasal cavity. When we eat and drink these sensations are perceived jointly. The volatile compounds move from the mouth to the sensitive part of the nose causing the sensation of smell. At the same time the receptors located in the mouth perceive the sensations which are the combination of smell and taste as well.
The inorganic ions located in the water are odorless except for the ammonium ions and sulfides. In certain circumstances, however, they affect the water taste. The number of the inorganic ions in saliva has an impact on water taste. If the amount of these substances is approximate to what our receptors are adapted to, then the drunk water tastes better.
A Significant content difference between ions in consumed water and saliva might cause taste discomfort while drinking but this has nothing in common with water quality. Getting used to something is second nature for humans, therefore the improvement of the water quality by reducing various chemical compounds is considered by the users as a taste worsening which diverges from current habits.
Some metal ions which might be present in drinking water, can worsen the taste. One of them is iron, its limit of permissible concentration is 0,2 mg/dm3 , whereas by 0,05 mg/dm3 the taste is getting worse. Additionally, some organic compounds that are in the water in ultra-low concentrations do not affect the health badly but can cause the effect of worse taste and smell of the water. For instance, the organic compound 2,3,6-trichloroanisol is smelt by 0,1 ng/dm3 (0,0000000001 g in 1 liter).
Even high-tech measuring devices do not have such a detection limit. And low concentrations that cause water to smell worse are totally harmless for the health. The similar examples can be easily found. Water complaints are often associated with chlorine smell. However that smell can be readily neutralized by the water boiling and its presence guarantees full bacteriological safety. It also signifies that the time of the water flow in the waterwork wire from the water treatment plant to the customer ( time of water stopping) is not too long, so it eliminates water pollution after effect. The amounts of the chlorine or chlorine dioxide used for water treatment are harmless for the health.
The chlorine is a disinfectant and a guarantor of water microbiological safety. At Krakow Water Treatment Plants, chlorine dioxide or sodium hypochlorite created by the electrolysis of the common salt is commonly used for treatment. The doses of the chlorine used in the process of the disinfection are safe i.e. they do not pose a threat to human health.
The byproducts of the disinfection do not accumulate in the organism. Its concentration is being monitored and do not exceed the permissible norms. This means that they are safe for the organism.
Yes and no. Some filter jugs can remove chlorine from the water, which is a disinfectant. It guarantees microbiological water safety. However, they do not get rid of pollutants, because they are not present in the drinking water. Chlorine removal can affect water smell and taste but the inappropriate usage of the filter jugs might cause microbiological threat due to the uncontrolled development of the bacteria in the filter.
Medium-hard water, that we have in Krakow is onerous for the house hold appliances. The presence of the bio-elements such as calcium and magnesium is responsible for water hardness, nevertheless they are harmless for health. On the contrary, they may be desirable for the proper function of the organism.
The quality of the supplied water to the Krakow residents is regularly monitored at all stages of the treatment process and distribution (protection zones, water intake, technological process, treated water that is discharged into the waterwork system, water in the waterwork system) Despite that the responsibility of the waterwork company for the water quality ends at the sales point i.e. behind the main water meter, though the monitoring system is constructed to account for the situation in the inner installations. Within the water quality monitoring, the points to draw the water samples are located on the taps, so test results consult the influence of the inner installation on water quality. Within a year thousands of those kinds of tests are done. Moreover, the Central Laboratory on the commission of outside clients conducts many tests of water samples from inner installations in various facilities on the Krakow premises ( grocery shops, restaurants, pubs, bars, dormitories, hotels etc.). The statistical appraisal of such high amount of analytic results suggests the lack of the negative influence of the waterwork wires and inner installations on the water quality ( the secondary pollution of water is not affirmed in wires and installations)
Asbestos cement tubes were widely used in the sixties. In Poland there are cities in which 60 % of its water system is composed from asbestos cement. Krakow has also utilized the tubes made of this material. Asbestos is neither counted in any sanitary regulations that concern water quality for drinking nor state and union regulations. The content of that substance in the water is not normalized. In regard to the asbestos, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its recent recommendations concerning water quality for drinking emphasizes that the asbestos is a carcinogenic compound for people only through inhalation. On the basis of the studies there is no evidence that asbestos ingested through drinking water is harmful for health. Therefore, there is no need to determine the permissible value of asbestos in the water. The National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene made its statement in connection with questions regarding the asbestos piping systems. It turns out that using that kind of piping is harmless for health. This statement has been accepted by all Union institutions and EU countries. Despite the clear-cut stance of the National Institute of Hygiene (Państwowy Instytut Higieny), Krakow Waterworks ordered the Occupational Medicine Institute in Łódź to analyze water samples . They were taken from the longest sections of asbestos piping system in the city. None of the analyzed samples showed the traces of the asbestos fiber.
Furthermore, we want to emphasize that the organs of the sanitary inspection control water quality for consumption. It is done in accordance with the act on collective water supply and sewage disposal. State Lesser Poland Voivodship Sanitary Inspector (Małopolski Państwowy Wojewódzki Inspektor Sanitarny ) confirms the full usefulness of water that is produced and supplied to the Krakow residents by the MPWiK S.A. Measuring the water quality supplied to the Krakow residents, it must be confirmed that for all parameters it fulfilled the previous requirements of the Health Minister. And it also meets the current Health Minister Regulation of December 7, 2017 in a matter of the quality of water intended for human consumption.
In 1988, Krakow Waterworks resigned from acquisition of water from Wisła river, due to its high pollution.
The quality of the Wisła river is systematically monitored by the Krakow Waterworks. The results explicitly present that the water quality has improved over the years, especially within the chemical pollution. The improvement of Wisał river quality is indicated by the increasing number of various fish species.