The European Drinking Water Directive has been revised.
The nature of the materials that come into contact with water intended for human consumption can affect the quality of the water, either by causing the migration of potentially harmful substances, promoting microbial proliferation or altering the smell, colour or taste of the water.
At the EU level, there are currently disparities between the approval systems for materials intended to come into contact with drinking water, which the current Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption has not achieved to avoid. In the absence of a harmonised way of ensuring hygiene requirements for products that come into contact with drinking water, approvals are being carried out at the national level and the requirements differ between Member States.As a consequence, consumers are not able to know if the materials comply with the required hygienic measures and on the other hand, manufacturers are not able to easily market their products in the EU.
Within the EC proposal for the new European Directive on drinking water this is one of the areas for improvement, following this new criteria:
- The establishment of more specific harmonized minimum hygiene requirements for materials intended for use in the extraction, treatment or distribution of water intended for human consumption in new or existing installations, in the case of repair or reconstruction works.
- The proposal for the minimum hygienic requirements for these substances and materials isthat:
- a) do not endanger, directly or indirectly, the protection of human health
- b) do not adversely affect the colour, odour or taste of the water;
- c) do not promote microbial growth;
- d) do not leach contaminants into the water at levels higher than necessary for its intended purpose.
To establish these harmonized minimum hygiene requirements, it is planned to establish a European positive list of substances, compositions or starting materials, managed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), as well as harmonised methods and procedures for evaluation and testing of end materials used in a product formulation.
If you have any concern regarding the substances you use to formulate materials in contact with drinking water, please contact us.