Frequently asked questions
- Where does tap water in Milan come from?
- How much does water cost in Milan?
- Is tap water safe?
- Where can I get the tap water analyses?
- Can I drink water that smells like chlorine?
- If tap water is a brownish coulour, what does it mean?
- Sometimes the water contains traces of sand. What should I do?
- Why does the water sometimes appear cloudy and/or have tiny bubbles?
- Why don't the vedovelle drinking fountains have a tap? Isn't that wasting water?
- Can I visit a sewage installation?
- Can I visit an aqueduct station?
- Is the water quality also guaranteed in the suburbs?
- Are condominium water softeners and treatment systems effective?
- I'd like to apply to have a vedovella drinking fountain installed in the local park; what should I d
- How long is the Milan metro line?
- Is the Milan metro system small or inadequate compared to others in Europe and round the World?
- What will the next extensions to the existing metro lines be?
- What are the new metro lines?
- Where does the M4 line run and what stops will it make?
- What stage is the M4 line at and when will it be ready?
- Where does the M5 line run and what stops will it make?
- What stage is the M5 line at and when will it be ready?
- Will the new metro lines be the same as the existing ones?
- Is it true that the so-called "mole" can be used to bore underground tunnels without excavating?
- How long does it take to build a metro line?
- Is it quicker to travel by metro or by car?
- Does the metro help protect the environment?
- Is it true that the metro generates more pollution than cars?
- I have some comments to make about the metro lines. Can I send them to MM?
1. Where does tap water in Milan come from?
From the water table, that is, from underground. The water is collected through 433 wells by the aqueduct. The water is collected from the wells at 60 to 120 metres and channelled to the stations, where highly advanced technological systems are used to filter and treat it, and make it fit for human consumption. It is then supplied to citizens along the 2360-km pipeline of the Milan aqueduct system. Twenty-nine relay stations are distributed throughout the territory.
2. How much does water cost in Milan?
0.54 euro per cubic metre (equal to 1000 litres of water), including the Area Plan surcharge pursuant to article 141 of Law 388/2000, set by the AATO. The cost of the water supply service is the lowest in Italy and in Europe. On 16 July 2010, the Milan City Council approved an increase in the water rate to 0.60 euro/m³ (including the Area Plan surcharge), which converts to an average increase of 1 euro a month per family. The purpose of the increase is to fund investments for upkeep and development of the city's water supply service. The rate had not been touched since 2001.
3. Is tap water safe?
The Aqueduct testing laboratory and ASL (the local health authority) controls guarantee the quality of the water in Milan. About 180,000 chemical and microbiological analyses are performed every year to make sure the water is sanitary and for ongoing improvement of the water supplied.
4. Where can I get the tap water analyses?
Metropolitana Milanese publishes the quarterly results of the water analyses on its website. The same data is made public on customer bills. For the latest information on water quality, you can ask your building administrator to post the bill on the condominium noticeboard. The chemical, physical and microbiological characteristics of the water supply depend on the urban quarters, so four versions of the communications are produced, one for each area in the city. The analyses are also available at the city of Milan ASL (SIAN service), in Via Statuto.
5. Can I drink water that smells like chlorine?
The Aqueduct uses sodium hypochlorite (commonly known as chlorine) to disinfect the water and guarantee that it is perfectly sanitary, from the pumping station to the tap. If you run the water into a jug and leave it for a few minutes the chlorine smell will disappear.
6. If tap water is a brownish coulour, what does it mean?
This could be due to recent work on the building's water supply system or there has been a break in the water supply and the water has stagnated in the pipes. This could also occur when the tap has been off for a long time (e.g. during holidays). To get rid of the colour just let the tap run freely for a while, even up to about ten minutes.
7. Sometimes the water contains traces of sand. What should I do?
Sand is not an indication that the water quality has changed. This build-up is simply the result of limescale that forms with normal precipitation of calcium and magnesium ions, particularly when water is heated for domestic consumption. To get the water running clearly again use an aerator on the tap and make sure you keep it clean.
8. Why does the water sometimes appear cloudy and/or have tiny bubbles?
The reason for the cloudiness is the high water pressure in the city's pumping plants and in the condominium reservoirs. This pressure is necessary for the water to also arrive at the upper floors of homes. The water will clear up by leaving it for a few minutes to allow the tiny bubbles to evaporate naturally.
9. Why don't the vedovelle drinking fountains have a tap? Isn't that wasting water?
The amount of water supplied by the fountains is trifling compared to the water flow distributed by the Milan aqueduct: against an instant average flow of about 7500 litres/second, the overall capacity of the approximately 400 fountains together can be estimated at about 8 l/s. The trickle of water from the vedovelle is not just useful for quenching the thirst; it also plays an important part in keeping the water constantly flowing, so it stays fresh and good quality at the dead-end pipes. If the water flow is cut off, this could even contribute to the formation of dangerous bacterial flora around the “dragon’s” mouth. And the water trickling from the fountains is not wasted: to the contrary, it flows into the sewerage system, arrives at the Milan treatment plants, is disinfected and then used by farming consortia to irrigate fields south of Milan.
10. Can I visit a sewage installation?
It is possible to see the Milan underground, just fill in the form and book a visit. Tours are free and available for schools and groups.
11. Can I visit an aqueduct station?
It is possible to see an acueduct station, just fill in the form and book a visit. Tours are free and available for schools and groups.
12. Is the water quality also guaranteed in the suburbs?
The aqueduct that MM manages serves the communities of Milan, Corsico and part of the Buccinasco, Peschiera Borromeo and San Donato Milanese areas in addition to the new exhibition centre in Rho Pero. MM guarantees the water quality in the territories it serves.
13. Are condominium water softeners and treatment systems effective?
Are condominium water softeners and treatment systems effective? MM guarantees the quality of the water to the meter, then responsibility is passed onto the owner, or the condomonium administrator. So, customers are free to install domestic treatment systems at their sinks or at the condominium input. MM guarantees excellent quality water through its many controls. If you do decide to install these devices, we recommend keeping them correctly maintained, particularly to avoid stagnating water that can often cause the formation of bacterial flora, which can actually be harmful to people's health.
14. I'd like to apply to have a vedovella drinking fountain installed in the local park; what should I d
The Municipality is responsible for installing drinking fountains on public land, through its SII technicians. A private citizen or an association can apply for one at the Local Council, which will send the application to the Urban Design - Parks and Gardens Office of the Municipality of Milan, involving local police and MM. After the Municipal Police carries out an onsite inspection of the safety of the location and MM makes the necessary hydrological controls, the drinking fountain will be installed. This service is free of charge.
15. How long is the Milan metro line?
The Milan metro network, designed by MM, currently consists of three lines totalling 79.3 km long; it has 88 stations.
16. Is the Milan metro system small or inadequate compared to others in Europe and round the World?
The Milan metro system is easily one of the top six metro systems in italy, one of the top ten of the more than forty in Europe and one of the top 30 of the over 150 metro systems in the world. So the Milan system is quite large. Still, it is not yet suitable for the range and size of the metropolitan area it serves and still does not cover the whole urban area; so, new lines that MM is planning and designing are needed.
17. What will the next extensions to the existing metro lines be?
At the end of 2010, the Assago M2 section will be inaugurated with the stations of Assago Milanofiori Nord and Assago Milanofiori Forum; in 2011 the northward extension of the M3 line with the stations of Dergano, Affori Centro, Affori FNM and Comasina; in 2014, the extension of the M1 line to Bettola with the new stations of Sesto Restellone and Cinisello/Monza. The extensions for the M2 line from Cologno Nord to Vimercate and the M3 line from San Donato to Paullo are in the final design stages but they will only see the light after 2015.
18. What are the new metro lines?
The Milan metro lines are the M4 San Cristoforo – Linate line and the M5 Bignami – San Siro line. In the Municipality of Milan's territorial zoning plan (PGT ) and urban transport plan (PUM) for 2010 – 2020, new major lines are under study, including metro lines that will extend the system and its urban coverage even further.
19. Where does the M4 line run and what stops will it make?
The M4 line will cross Milan from west to east along Viale Lorenteggio, heading south from the historical centre and then along the Indipendenza, Argonne and Forlanini axis to Linate Airport for about 15 km, with the following 21 stations: San Cristoforo FS, Segneri, Gelsomini, Frattini, Tolstoi, Washington-Bolivar, Foppa, Parco Solari, S.Ambrogio, De Amicis, Vetra, S.Sofia, Sforza-Policlinico, S.Babila, Tricolore, Dateo, Susa, Argonne, Forlanini FS, Q.re Forlanini, Linate airport.
20. What stage is the M4 line at and when will it be ready?
The engineering design of the M4 was completed some time ago and the preliminary archeological surveys have been carried out; the call for tenders process is underway and the contract should be assigned by mid-October, so the worksite can open early next year. The line will be finished in 2017 but the section from Linate airport to the station of the Forlanini FS railway link and loop (to be rolled out in 2015) could be operating already in mid-2015.
21. Where does the M5 line run and what stops will it make?
The M5 line will operate to the north along the Fulvio Testi and Zara avenues on the municipal border with Sesto San Giovanni to the office district then west from here to cross the Monumentale, Sempione, Fiera and San Siro zones for about 12.8 km, with the following 19 stations: Bignami, Ponale, Bicocca, Ca’ Granda, Istria, Marche, Zara, Isola, Garibaldi FS, Monumentale, Cenisio, Gerusalemme, Domodossola, Tre Torri, Portello, Lotto, Segesta, San Siro Trotter, San Siro Harar – Dessiè.
22. What stage is the M5 line at and when will it be ready?
The Bignami – Garibaldi section is in the final stage of completion and will be finished in 2012; the Garibaldi – San Siro section has been designed, the contract has been allocated and work will begin at the end of 2010. It is estimated that the work will be completed by May 2015, in time for the start of EXPO2015.
23. Will the new metro lines be the same as the existing ones?
No, these systems are lighter and use higher technology - stations and trains are shorter but it is a fully automated, driverless system. The M4 line stations will by 60 m long and the M5 stations 50 m long, as opposed to the 110 m long stations of the existing three lines. The stations will be equipped with platform doors. The automation means trains will run more frequently (90” and theoretically down to every 75”). Which means the systems will make up for most of the lower capacity caused by the smaller trains, while the light sizing will make work easier and it will have less impact.
24. Is it true that the so-called "mole" can be used to bore underground tunnels without excavating?
Partly. The mechanised tunnelling shield can be used to excavate tunnels directly underground and part of the stations can be constructed using trenchless technology where excavations are made underground starting from a pilot trench much smaller than the one needed to hold the manufactured works. Still, in both cases cut-and-cover excavation is essential, interfering with the existing excavations. However, the area of these excavations is much smaller than in the past, when the whole infrastructure was excavated from the surface.
25. How long does it take to build a metro line?
On average, 60 months (5 years) from start-up to inauguration. The time does not vary much according to the length of the section, as long as several worksites are started at the same time for longer sections, keeping the ratio between the length of the line and the number of men and machinery involved more or less the same. The complex nature of the manufactured items and the construction technologies can make all the difference; so, record times of 30 months (two and a half years) are possible, like for the M1 line extension to the new exhibition centre or it may take longer, e.g. 72 months (six years) like the estimated time for the M4. In any case, it is also necessary to add the time required to obtain approval and financing, which depend on the engineer only to a minimum degree.
26. Is it quicker to travel by metro or by car?
By metro. On average, in Milan, the revenue speed (i.e. considering the stops) of cars doesn't reach 10 km/h in peak hour; metro speed is close to 30 km/h.
27. Does the metro help protect the environment?
Of course. Every extension to the system leads to a considerable reduction in vehicle and a resulting reduction in emissions, energy consumption and accidents. For example, we calculate that when the new M4 and M5 lines are fully operational, there will be a reduction of about 30 million car trips per year, a 30% reduction in emissions, an annual drop in petrol consumption of about 16,000,000 equivalent tonnes and 500 road accidents less every year.
28. Is it true that the metro generates more pollution than cars?
It is absolutely false. The metro has zero emissions. If at the localised level, some measurements detected high levels of pollution at some metro stations, this was because pollutants tend to deposit downwards and at times they find the way to descend into underground areas. However, the pollution is produced by vehicles not by the metro.
29. I have some comments to make about the metro lines. Can I send them to MM?
MM does not run the metro system; it is the engineering company only. ATM is responsible for running the metro so comments must be directed to ATM since it is the only body authorised to take relative action. MM and ATM are two separate, independent companies.