Industry insights

Why Does London Water Taste So Different To Water In Other UK Regions?

2 min read

By Matt Stimpson |  Published

Taste in all food and drink is subjective – what might be taste heaven to you might be taste hell to someone else. But one thing many people notice is how different the tap water tastes in different parts of the UK, with London water often on the receiving end of some harsh criticism. So why does London water tastes so different?

UK water sources

Water’s ‘hardness’ is often the reason why water tastes different all over the UK with levels ranging from very hard to moderate or very soft. But tap water everywhere comes from two main water sources which can affect its taste:

Surface water

Any open body or source of freshwater, such as lakes, rivers, streams, or reservoirs. While this water is naturally high in acidity, it also contains fewer minerals giving it a softer taste.


Groundwater is hidden deep underground and comes from gaps and pockets among different types of rock. The water collects high levels of mineral content on its journey, giving it a harder taste.

Hard water areas

While the UK’s water is broadly split between three water types, what your water tastes like is all down to our geological substructure – and where you happen to live. But all water, whether it’s surface or groundwater, goes through a series of treatment processes to prevent contamination and make it 100% safe to drink – despite the taste difference that comes with it.

While we get used to our own tap water taste, when we try tap water from other places, the difference is immediately noticeable. So what about where you live? Here’s how the UK’s water hardness levels are generally divided:

Soft to Moderate: Devon, Cornwall, South & West Wales, Cumbria, West Yorkshire, parts of North Yorkshire, and Scotland

Moderate to Hard: Somerset, Surrey, South, Central, and Eastern Wales, Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Shropshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, West Midlands.

Hard to Very Hard: The majority of the Northeast, Central, East, Southern, and Southeast areas of the UK, including London.

This doesn’t mean to say London water is any better or worse than elsewhere in the UK – it’s just different. Thames Water claims that 65% of its water is from surface water with 35% from groundwater sources. Though London water is hard to very hard, it’s rated among the best in the world according to Visit London – and hard water is actually better for you thanks to its high mineral content.

Change how your water tastes

But what can you do if you live in London and really don’t like the tap water taste? Don’t worry – Thirsty Work can offer you a tasty alternative.

Our mains fed water coolers all feature our hi-tech, built-in, advanced mechanical and carbon filtration systems. So even though they’re connected directly to your London mains water supply, they greatly reduce the causes of odour and bad tastes, while removing any rogue trace plastics.

And with both upright and counter-top sizes, each cooler gives you a convenient, economical, and environmentally-friendly way to enjoy great-tasting, filly-filtered, ambient, chilled, and hot water at home or in the office.

Contact Thirsty Work today

For more information on all our mains fed water coolers, our service plans, and our fast same or next day deliveries across London and the south-east, get in touch with our customer service team today.

Call 02080 498 501 or email us at, and you can take advantage of a free, no-risk 10-day, free trial to taste for yourself.

Your local Thirsty Work water delivery service covers all areas of North, South, East and West London, and surrounding areas. We aim to deliver water and cup supplies within 2 - 3 working days from your local delivery depot. 

Our head office for all enquiries is based in Exeter, but your local delivery depot is located in HEMEL HEMPSTEAD 
Thirsty Work Ltd
Unit 6 Fields End Farm
Pouchen End Lane
Hemel Hempstead

Call us on: 02080 498 501