It’s the favorite drink is, maybe, not, but the most popular drink in the Swiss tap water. Three-quarters of the population regularly drinks water straight from the tap. In four out of five glasses of it is ground water that has been treated, in most cases, little or not at all.

But how to clean, what we delete every day our thirst? This issue of the Federal office for the environment (FOEN) is in the latest report on the state of the groundwater in Switzerland. All 140 pages thick is the document – it is the first comprehensive inventory of the past ten years.

Good tap water is, of course,

the conclusions of the water experts in the Federal government is clear. Even though Switzerland is commonly referred to as the water castle of Europe: the Lord of The Castle can’t sit on his throne back. “Our most important drinking water resource is under increasing pressure,” said FOEN Vice Director Karin Siegwart. That high-quality comes free drinking water out of the taps, is no longer today a matter of course.

these are the main reasons for this are: Eutrophication
tens of thousands of tons of fertilizer farmers spraying every year. Nitrogen enters the soil and seeps as nitrate into the groundwater. At 15 to 20 percent of the approximately 600 measuring between 2007 and 2014 was exceeded, the maximum value of the water protection law. At two to four percent of the measurement locations, the concentration exceeded the limit value even at higher drinking water. That much nitrate is found in arable areas.
In recent years, the concentration decreased slightly. This Trend is likely to continue, however, according to the FOEN. It should not be assumed that the Situation will improve significantly within the coming years. Rather, the warming of the climate could lead to the concentration rises again. Because it is very dry, the crops can absorb less nitrate and more of it reaches the ground.
pesticides
pesticide active ingredients and their degradation products in the groundwater affect according to the FOEN quality in Switzerland “widespread and sustained”. To 2 percent of the measuring 1017 residues of plant protection agents in a concentration of about 1 microgram per Liter measured-the legal limit were set.
This is a small proportion. Undesirable the substances that are released when the active ingredients degrade but. These degradation products, including metabolites called, remain much longer in ground water and are more mobile. At approximately every fifth measurement point, the concentration was more than 1 micro gram/Liter. This limit also applies to certain metabolites.
Toxic hydrocarbons
Volatile halogenated hydrocarbons (FHKW) are mainly used as solvents and cleaning agents and in the production of plastics used. To 4 percent of the measuring points, the limit value for these substances has been exceeded. They come, according to FOEN Contaminated sites, for example landfills or old industrial sites.
medicines and sweeteners from wastewater
In basic water in addition, residues of medicines, for example antibiotics, anti-corrosion agents or sweeteners. Such as pesticide degradation products also they are very durable and mobile and affect a question of the quality of groundwater.
Increased congestion and higher temperatures
, The FOEN has investigated in addition to the water quality as water quantity and temperature in the past few years have changed. Basically, the groundwater occurrence is stable, according to the experts. The hot, however, not that it could not come out in dry periods of local and temporary shortages. The groundwater temperature remained almost the half of the measurement the same over the last ten years approximately. In the other half, the temperature rose slightly.

in the light of these findings, the FOEN shall recognise a need for action – especially with regard to the quality of groundwater. In this case, the Federal office takes, especially the farmers in the duty. Particularly in the case of plant protection products and nitrates is agriculture, which is responsible for the water pollution is mainly responsible.

water companies are worried

The report is water on the mills of those who support the drinking water and pesticide initiatives that are currently being discussed in Parliament. While the drinking water-will Initiative that farmers receive subsidies, which do not use pesticides, the second Initiative for a complete pesticide ban. The national Council has rejected both initiatives, and also against the indirect counter-proposal made.

just for the water fight but catering. The latest report by the FOEN confirm your fears, write them in a message. You show concern. “Groundwater as a drinking water resource is at risk in Switzerland.” We hope, that recognize the Council of States. The competent Commission will decide later this month whether to join the Position of the national Council or whether it should be a counter-proposal.