Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Krakow, But Were Too Afraid to Ask

Krakow and Vienna are cities of unique ?genius loci,? culture and history. Both are charming, interesting and connected by ?Greenways.? This is a network of off-road routes shared by people of all abilities on foot, bike or horseback.
One of the main differences is that in Vienna you can easily drink water straight from the tap, because it comes from the Alps. However, in Krakow, before you reach for that water tap, you had better read where the water comes from…
The first Krakow water supply system was built in the village Bielany at the turn of the 20th century.  It was located in this place because underground water sources were discovered there. For drinking water, only underground sources could be used, both natural springs and wells. Until 1933, the water wasn?t disinfected.
At present, Krakow stocks up on water from four main sources of surface water. The most important is the Dobczyckie Lake reservoir, between Myslenice and Dobczyce. This source meets over half of the city?s demand for drinking water.  This reservoir was built 30 kilometers south of Krakow on the Raba River (a tributary of the Vistula River) in 1986.
The remaining three sources are on the Sanka River in Bielany, on the Dlubnia River and Rudawa River. Surface water sources are carefully monitored for the presence of unusual types or levels of microbial/disease-causing contaminants.
There is also one source of underground water in Mistrzejowice.
The received water is then purified, disinfected through chlorination and fluoridated. It is not possible to tell whether water is safe to drink just by looking at it. You cannot see, smell or taste the germs and other contaminants. Simple procedures such as boiling or even the use of household charcoal filters would definitely help reduce them.
What would happen if you perversely decide to quench your thirst drinking Krakow?s tap water? 
You would probably suffer from travelers? diarrhea. Don?t be afraid of such diseases!
Malgorzata Zielnia has 15 years experience working as a guide in Krakow. The main profession of a guide is answering all your questions. We will start with the questions she has heard most often during her career. You can also ask her your own question by sending her an email to: editor@krakowpost.com. Malgorzata will answer the most interesting questions in The Krakow Post.

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