After several years of intensive work, EU parliamentarians today adopted the new Drinking Water Directive, bringing with it a variety of changes:
- New and, in some cases, tightened limit values for e.g. lead, legionella, chlorate and bisphenol A. Other new parameters, such as microplastics, are currently only listed with guide values in a watch list.
- The previously only recommended risk-based approach to water monitoring (risk assessment) will be made mandatory. Monitoring will apply from extraction through treatment to domestic installation.
- For the first time, uniform requirements are set for materials in contact with drinking water. For uniform implementation, the specific minimum hygiene requirements for materials are regulated by implementing acts. Within three years, substances or materials as well as test and selection procedures for starting materials and compounds will be included in a "European positive list".
- Furthermore, there will be new regulations on water losses, deviations from quality parameters and public access to drinking water.
Volker Meyer, EDW Chairman:
"This is a good day for the efforts of the European water industry to regulate uniform and high-quality materials in contact with drinking water in a binding manner. This is done so that everywhere in Europe drinking water can be drunk from the tap without hesitation!"
The directive will enter into force 12 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU in 2021. Within two years of its entry into force, member states will have to make the necessary changes to comply with the directive.