Yes, Croatian water is “clean” and safe to drink generally. Yes, you can drink from the tap and you will not die or get sick…most of the time. However, as exhaustively covered in this post, the pipes are a problem. You can have the cleanest, purest, most Godly water ever, but if you pump it through gross pipes, the water will become gross.
I have been filtering my water for over 15 years in Croatia, the United States, Hungary and the Netherlands. Frankly, I don’t care where I live or how “clean” the water is, it can always be cleaner. It’s something I’m regularly putting into my body to survive so I want it to be as clean as possible.
What I find in my water in Croatia
When I clean my water filter, I find varying levels of rust deposits on the filter itself because this rust came out of the tap water. In my experience living in Split, the quality of pipes has differed greatly in the three buildings I have lived in.
The first apartment had terrible pipes with huge amounts of rust sludge being filtered out after 6 months. I literally had to scrape it off with a spoon. My current apartment only creates a thin rust film on my filters in the same amount of time, so it is an improvement. But the point is, THERE IS STILL RUST IN THE WATER, which is something I don’t care to drink.
Ignorance to the problem
On many occasions, Croatians have come to my house and specifically request unfiltered tap water as if the filtered, cleaner water is going to steal their soul. I’ve even been called crazy for filtering my water. This kind of perception makes me think that it is unlikely anything will be done to improve the water, considering it is thought collectively that the water has already achieved perfection.
It’s not so perfect when the Split government notifies us that we can’t drink the water for several DAYS after a heavy rain and that it must be boiled for use. Even after being told of the water ban, some locals are STILL drinking the water. And then they promptly shit their pants. I shouldn’t have to say this, but…clean water doesn’t give you diarrhea.
I’m cool being called “crazy” if it means I’m not drinking rust or pesticides or whatever garbage gets into the water supply after a rain storm because I prefer to avoid diarrhea at all costs. But hey, perhaps I am crazy.