Can I Drink Tap Water in Kotor?

Can You Drink Tap Water In Montenegro?

Planning to travel to Kotor? If you’re anything like me, one of the first things you wonder when visiting a new destination is whether the tap water is safe to drink. As someone who prefers to hydrate with good ol’ H2O instead of buying piles of plastic water bottles, this is an important question.

Well, I recently took a trip to the striking coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro and made it my mission to get to the bottom of their water situation. After doing some digging, I uncovered the need-to-know info for drinking tap water in Kotor.

The Water Quality in Kotor Bay

First, a little background. Kotor sits on the banks of Kotor Bay, a bright blue inlet on Montenegro’s Adriatic coastline. This bay is considered one of the most indented parts of the Mediterranean, with picturesque mountains dramatically rising behind the historic coastal town.

The bay’s water quality is influenced by a number of factors: wastewater discharge, maritime transport, fishing, shellfish farming, tourism and more. While measurements show the inner parts of the bay generally have poorer water quality, the outer areas where Kotor is located are less affected.

According to Montenegro’s Environmental Protection Agency, the latest annual report on Kotor Bay’s water quality found that most parameters at Kotor’s sampling points met requirements for “excellent” or “good” quality. The water had normal pH levels and dissolved oxygen, with low measured levels of concerning contaminants like heavy metals and bacteria.


The Tap Water Infrastructure in Kotor

Kotor gets its municipal water supply from two main local sources: a spring at Ljuta River and an underground wellfield at Mojdez. This freshwater is treated at facilities before being piped into homes, hotels, restaurants and businesses around town.

Kotor’s water and wastewater infrastructure has gone through renovations in recent decades with the goal of modernizing the systems. In the early 2000s, over 90% of Kotor households were connected to the municipal water supply network. Around this time, work was also done to expand sewage collection to more of the population.

While some deficiencies still exist, reports indicate Kotor has come a long way in upgrading its water and sanitation infrastructure. Compared to surrounding rural areas lacking tap water access, the situation right in Kotor is decent.

Is It Safe to Drink Water in Kotor?

Now to answer the million-dollar question: Can you safely drink the tap water in Kotor?

The official word is yes – the tap water is potable and safe to consume.

That said, Kotor is an old city with ageing pipes. The risk of lead or bacterial contamination sneaking in is not zero (but honestly, what water system anywhere has zero risk?). Locals in Kotor mostly stick to drinking bottled water, so travelers may want to follow suit.

If you don’t want to generate plastic waste, another good option is to use a water filter. Bring your own filter bottle or bottle with a built-in filter to give you peace of mind when refilling from the tap. Boiling or UV-treating water are also effective ways to kill potential nasties.

Personally, I drank Kotor tap water during my visit and was absolutely fine. I took precautions by using a filter bottle and letting water run a bit to flush the pipes first. The water tasted and smelled normal to me, so I felt comfortable drinking it.

But use your best judgment based on your stomach sensitivity and health status. If you have any concerns, the cautious route is avoiding tap water entirely or taking steps to disinfect it first. The choice is yours!

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Final Thoughts

I hope this gives you the low-down on drinking tap water in Kotor! While the water quality isn’t perfect, the town has come a long way in upgrading its infrastructure and treatment systems. If you take some precautions, drinking Kotor tap water is likely safe for most travelers.

Wherever your travels take you, be smart and stay hydrated out there, friends. Your body and the planet will thank you! Let me know if this info helps you out in Kotor or if you have any other questions.

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