Knowing your water rights in pubs and restaurants could help with Dry January

How many people knew that pubs and restaurants which sell alcohol are obliged by law to offer free tap water?

Friday, 4th January 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:22 pm

It could mean some nifty savings for those taking part in Dry January and still wanting to socialise with friends.

But consumers need to be aware of the law.

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Only licensed establishments (those that serve alcohol) must provide it.

According to the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010, which came into force in April 2010 and was updated in 2014, all restaurants in England and Wales that serve alcohol are legally required to give customers free tap water. Those that don’t are under no obligation to do so.

Also, be aware that these rules apply to paying customers, so you could be refused if you don’t actually buy something when asking for your free water.

Restaurants can charge for filtered drinking water. However, if they serve alcohol, they have to provide free drinking water, whether that’s filtered or unfiltered.

Bottled water is often cited as being pure, however both bottled and tap water has to meet with specific regulations to ensure it is safe to drink.