As much as water is fundamental to everyday life, rivers also play a defining role. The Stadtwerke Düsseldorf, the local utility, supplies water to more than 600,000 people in Dusseldorf, Erkrath and Mettmann.
An average of some 140 million litres of drinking water flows through more than 1,800 km of supply system every day. That is the equivalent of about 700,000 bathtubs each holding 200 litres of water. Approximately one quarter of local water originates underground and an enormous three quarters through seepage from the river Rhine.
Many believe tea varies in taste depending on the water used and producers of beer claim that water plays a major role in the quality of their brew. Here, the quality of the tap water is extremely high and is controlled by both European directives and national law. Utilities take daily specimens that are tested in labs with results checked additionally by the public health department of Dusseldorf.
Whilst in many countries such as France, Spain and USA tap water served with coffee or meals comes naturally, a waiter in Germany may appear somewhat dumbfounded when asked for a glass here. Since Germans generally drink mineral water, most of which is sparkling, ordering still water (Stilles Wasser) may result in a bottle of water, ordering tap water (Leitungswasser) is more precise.
No one need hesitate when drinking tap water in Düsseldorf.