Drinking water safety in Croatia

More than 87% of Croatian population uses public water supply system and drinks tap water, which is regularly controlled and conforms to health safety standards. Sometimes, due to reasons entirely personal, one may prefer the taste of water in one Croatian region to that in another region. For instance, Zagreb water is known to be harder than that in Split; people who drink it may taste the difference and prefer one over the other. However, it is important that all consumers, including tourists, know that water from public water supply sistem is safe.

On Croatian islands, highly visited in the summertime, water is supplied either by connections to nearby onshore water supply systems (e.g. the island of Brač), water supply systems on individual islands (e.g. the island of Krk), or, in some islands, such as the island of Korčula, partly from their own sources, and partly from connection to the land.  As regards quality, the standards of water quality and safety are the same as in other parts of the Republic of Croatia, and all public water supply facilities are under regular supervision.

Monitoring of drinking water safety

Monitoring of drinking water safety is carried out on a national level according to Monitoring Plan issued by the Minister of Health on a proposal of the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) as a co-ordinating body. Monitoring plan is carried out by institutes of public health in Croatian counties and the City of Zagreb, respectively, according to their local authority and financial resources provided by their respective local authorities. Implementation dynamics is defined by the Ordinance on conformity parameters, analytical methods, monitoring and drinking water safety plans, and keeping register of legal entities which provide public water supply („Official Gazette“, No. 125/17) and depends on the quantity of water supplied.

Thus, 7081 samples from Croatian public water supply and 617 samples from local supply were analysed in 2017. In addition to „state“ monitoring, internal control of drinking water safety is also performed – legal entities which provide public water supply are obliged to identify appropriate sampling sites and frequency. Withing the framework of internal controls made by water supply systems in their own or in external laboratories, 69 700 samples were analyzed in Croatia in 2017.

Water quality control in the Republic of Croatia is regulated by the Law on the Water Intended for Human Consumption („Official Gazette“, No. 56/13, 64/15, 104/17), provision of Council Directive 1998/83/EZ of November 3, 1998, on the quality of water intended for human consumption, and Commission Directive (EU) 2015/1787 оf October 6, 2015, amending Annexes II and III to Council Directive 98/83/EZ on  the quality of water intended for human consumption (OJ L 260, 7/10/2015). Beside that, water for human consumption must conform to parameters for control of conformity of water for human consumption to standards defined by the Ordinance on conformity parameters, analytical methods, monitoring and drinking water safety plans, and keeping register of legal entities which provide public water supply („Official Gazette“, No. 125/17) .

Tap water is also provided by local water resources, which are not part of the public water supply system, and are in the care of groups of citizens or local communities. The majority of them is located in Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Varaždin counties. Water from these water supplies is also regularly controlled, but often does not conform to health safety standards, i.e. in 2017, 56.4 % samples from local water supplies did not meet defined standards. In contrast, only 3.1% of samples from the public water supply system did not meet the standards. Private wells and other individual water resources are not subject to monitoring system, but control is performed on an owner’s personal request.

kameni zdenac
Foto: Dolores Špika

Information on water for human consumption in Croatia

HZJZ publishes annual Reports on safety of water for human consumption (in Croatian) available on Periodic publications of the Croatian Institute of Public Health website. For any additional information and latest drinking water monitoring data, citizens and tourists can contact a county public health institute of their residence or visit, and information on public health network and contact information is available on the following link: https://www.hzjz.hr/mreza-zavoda/