Friday 9 November 2012

Eau de Paris

Every day the population of Paris consumes 550 million litres of drinking water. That's 120 million gallons, or 145 million US gallons.  Per day!

The water is collected, treated and distributed by Eau de Paris, a public sector company, and comes from many sources: the rivers Seine and Marne; and underground sources in the region around Paris, but also as far away as Normandy and Burgundy.  Once the processed water reaches Paris it is held in five reservoirs: Montsouris and L'Hay-les-Roses to the south; Saint-Cloud to the west; and Ménilmontant and Les Lilas to the east.

Water from the furthest underground source travels 150km to get to the capital through pipes and aqueducts.  One of the most impressive is the Aqueduc de la Vanne which crosses the Yonne river and goes through the Forest of Fontainebleau before reaching the Montsouris reservoir.
The Aqueduc de la Vanne as it passes through the Paris suburb of Cachan
(photo credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz, via Wikimedia Commons)
If the idea of drinking water from the Seine shocks you, don't worry!  River water is treated carefully in two phases: clarification, a process that reproduces natural soil filtration to remove the particles; and refining, which eliminates any remaining bacteria, viruses, pesticides or other pollutants from the treated water.  The water is then chlorinated before being distributed.

Apart from providing fresh drinking water to homes and businesses in the capital, Eau de Paris also maintains a system of more than a thousand drinking water points on the streets, including the famous Wallace fountains (click for more details).

Pavillon de l'Eau

Pavillon de l'Eau
(photo credit: © Eau de Paris)
The place to go to find out everything you've ever wanted to know about water in Paris but were afraid to ask, is the Pavillon de l'Eau situated in a converted water pumping station near the banks of the Seine.

There is a permanent exhibition on the water system of Paris, as well as regularly changing temporary exhibitions, a cafeteria and a conference centre.

Source (pun intended!):

How to get there:

  • Address: Pavillon de l’Eau, 77 avenue de Versailles, 75016 Paris
  • Telephone: 01 42 24 54 02
  • Métro: Mirabeau (line 10)
  • Bus: 22/62/72 ("Mirabeau" stop)

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