Contaminated Drinking Water From a Mystery Pipe

The Cold War era still seems to tarnish today’s life in Prague. One example is the drinking water supply system. Last weekend, close to 200 people in Prague’s districts Dejvice and Bubeneč were treated for diarrhea, vomiting and fever after drinking tap water. The Prague Waterworks then reported that the water was contaminated by coliform bacteria and provided mobile water tanks for consumers, while the pipes are now being disinfected, purged and examined.


The cause for the contamination may not comfort people who drank the water: Reportedly, a sewage pipe had been damaged in the course of nearby construction works. The dirty water then entered a branch of the drinking water pipe system that nobody knew it even existed. Apparently it was not uncommon in the 60s of Prague to install pipes and not to bother about adding them to relevant maps.

It reminds me of a former flat in Prague: For a certain set of wall sockets, I could not manage to figure out where the cables came from. They were not connected to any of the fuses. For about half a year the power was off,  then suddenly on again.

What else is waiting to be discovered in Prague’s underground? Uncharted sewage pipes? Pieces of the former Stalin monument? A mysterious metro line? Forgotten pipes of the pneumatic post system? Huge parts of the Prague municipal budget, lost forever?


NB: If you have been affected by diarrhea due to the contaminated water, you are eligible to receiving a compensation of 5000 CZK from the Prague Waterworks. However, you need to provide an attestation. Physical evidence is not admissible.

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