Like other home utilities in Switzerland, water is controlled by government-supported companies that cover each county (canton). Water in Switzerland is high-quality and most tap water comes from natural alpine springs or rivers fed by snowmelt. Typically, rental contracts include the cost of any water used and action only needs to be taken if you have bought a house in Switzerland. The process of registering with your local water company is quick and easy but still good to know, especially if you have just changed address.
Water suppliers in Switzerland
Water is supplied to all types of housing through the same companies as the ones that give you electricity. These are specific to certain areas. You cannot change water supplier and must purchase water from the company that operates in your canton or city. These are:
- Aargau (AG): AEW
- Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AU) / Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI): Energie AR / AI
- Basel Land (BL): EBL
- Basel Stadt (BS): IWB
- Bern (BE): BKW
- Freiburg / Fribourg (FR): Groupe E
- Genèva (GE): SIG
- Glarus (GL): TB Glarus
- Graubünden (GR): RE Power
- Jura (JU): Jura Energy Corporation
- Lucerne city (LU): EWL
- Lucerne canton: CKW
- Neuchatel (NE) : Viteos SA
- Nidwalden (NW): Full cantonal control
- Obwalden (OW): EWO
- Schaffhausen (SH): EKS
- Schwyz (SZ): EWS
- Solothurn (SO): Regio energie Solothurn
- St. Gallen (SG): SGSW
- Thurgau (TG): EKT
- Ticino (TI): AET
- Uri (UR): Energie Uri
- Valais / Wallis (VS): CREM
- Vaud (VD): Romande Energie
- Zug (ZG): WWZ
- Zurich Canton (ZH): EKZ
- Zurich City: EWZ
Can I change water supplier?
In Switzerland, you must purchase water from your local water company. You are unable to get water from any other company from another canton. If you are renting an apartment in Switzerland, you will be given water automatically. If you are buying a house in Switzerland, you must register with your local water company, providing:
- A full ID such as a residence permit
- Proof of address such as a rental contract
- Banking details to start regular payments
Once this is accepted, you will be charged for water until you change your address.
Is Swiss tap water drinkable?
Swiss tap water is drinkable, with much of the drinking water coming from similar springs used for commercially bottled water. All fountains in Switzerland can be drunk from unless directly stated otherwise and there have been several occasions where water quality from the Swiss lakes has been good enough for full public consumption.