Bolzano's wonderful water

Pure, high quality, mineral-rich drinking water – always on tap here in Bolzano. Our pristine supply of this underestimated elixir of life. Some curious facts about Bolzano’s water.
Water is life: we know it’s one of the base elements on our planet: whether in agriculture or for our own bodies. Each Bolzano resident consumes around 152 litres of drinking water per day: literally a bathtub full! Responsible for the supply of this precious public resource is SEAB AG, a company serving the citizens of Bolzano that celebrates its 20th birthday in June. It not only supplies the city with among the highest quality drinking water in Italy, but it’s also responsible for the gas and sewagenetworks, waste management and the manicuredcityscape. Clearly however, the greatest responsibilityis the municipal drinking water network, with its 14 deep wells and ten reservoirs. It’s an investment in the health of Bolzano folk and Bolzano visitors.
Where does the drinking water in Bolzano come from?
Bolzano's water is groundwater. It’s fed from the rivers Isarco and Talvera, pumped to the surface from a depth of 30-80 metres and distributed via nearly 200 km of pipes. Excess water is fed into the storage reservoirs, mostly on the rocky slopes around Bolzano (with a total capacity of some 13,000 cubic metres). When demand is at its highest in the morning, the evening and in dry summers – these huge reserves provide the city’s water. Eleven technicians are responsible for the maintenance of this sophisticated system. They monitor all strategic infrastructure, including the numerous municipal wells, once a week. They maintain, clean, search for leaks, regulate the water pressure, read water meters and carry out 150 drinking water checks per year (results at

What makes the water in Bolzano so good?
The fact that it is naturally purified and enriched by minerals on its way to the depths, meaning it doesn’t require any
chemical treatment. Above the groundwater of Bolzano, there is a top layer of gravel and sand, filtering out impurities. In fact, the quality of drinking water is so special that the entire valley basin has been designated as "Water Protection Area III", which provides a number of statutory protections. What does that mean in particular? The strictest of regulations for any new building projects. The result shows in our water’s balanced content of dissolved minerals with a neutral pH value. So, if you choose to drink Bolzano tap water, you’re not only protecting the environment (and your own pocket!), but you’re also drinking very healthy water.
The Talferlagrein
The modern water system in Bolzano was not built until the late 19th century. Until then, the inhabitants of Bolzano took their water fordomestic use, as well as for irrigation, mostly from open channels (wooden guttering in the Renaissance, later cast-iron pipes) directly from the Talfer-Talvera river. This is why the water was called, tongue in cheek, “Talferlagrein” – with a nod to the famous Lagrein red wine, grown in the Bolzano basin.

​Text by Anita Rossi | Picture rights Manuela Tessaro

This is an article from the Bolzano Magazine | Spring Edition 2020, where also Eppan is represented. Further information about the South Tyrolean capital and Eppan's neighbouring city can be found here >>> Bolzano Bozen
Published on 16.06.2020
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