Dutch drinking water guideline established in EU drinking water directive

A drinking water directive containing quality requirements is essential to guarantee safe drinking water. This drinking water directive is laid down in the European Drinking Water Directive. An initiative of the European Parliament. In 2014, the European Commission announced an update to the 20 year old and outdated drinking water directive. This update of the EU Drinking Water Directive came into force on 12 January 2021. In this new Drinking Water Directive, in particular, uniform requirements have been set for materials in distribution systems that come into direct contact with European drinking water from treatment plants to consumers. The monitoring of water quality including Legionella and turbidity has also been tightened up. Curious about the adjustments? Read it in this article!

WHY A DRINKING WATER DIRECTIVE?

The overall aim of the European Drinking Water Directive is to bring together tests and test requirements to ensure that materials that come into contact with drinking water are suitable to ensure the safety of European drinking water.

In doing so, the European Commission considers clean drinking water to be a fundamental human right. Protecting health against adverse effects related to the quality of European drinking water is, therefore, a number one priority.

MOST IMPORTANT CHANGE: NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR MATERIALS

For a uniform implementation of the new Drinking Water Directive, minimum hygiene requirements for materials have been established. These general guidelines for materials are laid down in Article 10 of the new EU Drinking Water Directive.

In addition, the implementation and monitoring of the process is the task of the individual European member states. The Member States are therefore obliged to implement all measures necessary to guarantee the safety of materials used in the treatment and distribution of European drinking water.

ALL ADJUSTMENTS IN THE EU DRINKING WATER DIRECTIVE

These are the main adjustments in the update of the EU Drinking Water Directive, effective as of 12 January 2021:

  • Tightened limit values for lead, Legionella, E. coli bacteria and iron. The Netherlands already has a limit value for Legionella under the EU DWD. This lies in the Netherlands at <100 cfu/L. whereas the guideline in the EU DWD is <1000 cfu/L. Each member state has 2 year to implement this norm or use a more strict norm like the Netherlands.
  • Risk-based water monitoring has been made mandatory for all European Member States. This was initially only recommended. Furthermore, this monitoring applies to the entire process that drinking water goes through; from soil extraction, treatment to distribution and delivery at points of use
  • Uniform requirements are set for materials that come into contact with drinking water. At the latest within three years from 12 January 2021, the European Parliament will come up with a ‘European Positive List’ showing the approved materials, raw materials and testing and selection procedures
  • Regulations on water losses, deviations from quality parameters and public access to drinking water have been adjusted

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW DRINKING WATER DIRECTIVE

All European member states have two years from the publication date to implement the new EU Drinking Water Directive nationally. Member states may have stricter legislation and regulations, but the EU DWD is seen as a minimum requirement.

For the Netherlands, the biggest differences with the Drinking Water Directive are:

  • Legionella limit
  • Materials in hot and cold tap water

DOES ULTRAFILTRATION FROM PB INTERNATIONAL COMPLY WITH THE DWD21?

Long story short: Yes! After the liquid has been through our ultrafiltration filters, the microbiological parameters are 0. Subsequently, the turbidity decreases to 0.1 NTU (limit value is 0.3 according to the Drinking Water Directive). This is the typical water quality after ultrafiltration:

  • Legionella <100 cfu/L
  • E. Coli <100 cfu/L
  • NTU <0.1
  • SDI <2

Finally, ultrafiltration only removes particles and bacteriology from drinking water. Important minerals such as calcium and magnesium are therefore retained in the drinking water. Therefore PB International ultrafiltration not only complies with the new requirements of the EU Drinking Water Directive, but also improves the quality of drinking water and preserves important building blocks.

WHAT CAN PB INTERNATIONAL DO FOR YOU?

The consultants at PB International are always up to date with the latest laws and regulations and are therefore happy to think along with you about the possibilities for safe and clean drinking water. Also for the implementation of and more information about the measures as laid down in the new European Drinking Water Directive, PB International is the right place to be.

Please feel free to contact one of our consultants!