Fountain water clears pollution test in Italy's cities  

Click to follow
The Independent Online

They are perhaps the most charming of Italian amenities, the humble devices at many street corners that speak of an ancient and generous civilisation. They call them nasoni, "big nose", ancient drinking fountains with long curving spouts. Block the spout with a finger or palm and a jet spurts from the top hole on the spout, convenient for the mouth.

They are perhaps the most charming of Italian amenities, the humble devices at many street corners that speak of an ancient and generous civilisation. They call them nasoni, "big nose", ancient drinking fountains with long curving spouts. Block the spout with a finger or palm and a jet spurts from the top hole on the spout, convenient for the mouth.

And research by Altroconsumo, an Italian consumer organisation with 300,000 members founded 30 years ago, shows public tap water in most of Italy's biggest cities is as or more wholesome than the mineral water sold in bottles. The Italians crouching by the nasoni, drinking their fill, are not reckless, but wise.

Altroconsumo sampled water from the 10 biggest Italian cities, plus six others exposed to pollution, and analysed the samples. The researchers found Reggio di Calabria, on the toe of the peninsula, had the best city water. It has the smallest number of pollutants, and its base quality is higher than most mineral waters. If they were to bottle it, they could justly advertise it on the label as oligominerale. Bologna, Bergamo and Rome are the next three cities. In the industrial centres of Milan and Turin drinking water was at the limits of what is acceptable. The only city whose water failed was Palermo, in Sicily, due to excessive nitrate pollution from agricultural chemicals.

Comments