Drinking Water Directive

The European Drinking Water Directive (DWD) concerns quality of water intended for human consumption. When translating the DWD into own national legislation, the EU Member States can include additional requirements, such as setting higher standards. However, Member States are not allowed to lower the standards as there should be the same level of human health protection across all the EU countries.

DRINKING WATER

Plastic pipe systems have now become well established throughout Europe and many parts of the world for the conveyance of drinking water. The unique combination of ease of installation together with excellent lifetime performance characteristics, has been the basis for the increasing use of plastics in place of more traditional materials. In Europe, plastic pipe systems now account for well over 50% of pipes used for water supply inside buildings. In water distribution networks, plastics have now typically become the material of choice over a wide range of dimensions.

TEPPFA recognises water as our most precious resource, and is totally committed to ensure that the plastic pipe systems installed to convey drinking water will maintain the quality of water whilst at the same time avoiding loss. To this end, TEPPFA member companies are working to maintain and further develop technical standards for the quality and performance of their products. Association members are active in national and international standardisation groups as well as having seats at a number of important European Union forums where regulations are being formulated. In particular, the harmonisation of good test methods, the setting of appropriate performance requirements and the implementation of positive lists of materials are all seen to be key in protecting the quality of our drinking water and the health of the people of the world.

European Harmonization

Requirements to products in contact with drinking water is specified in the Drinking Water Directive article 10. There it is stated that it is up to each Member State to take all measures necessary to ensure that substances and materials for installations are safe. As it is up to each Member State, there are no harmonization of the requirements in Europe. The EU Member States have therefore successfully implemented regulations including certification programs at national level.

The DWD is under revision and it is the intention to harmonize the requirements and test methods for materials in contact with drinking water. TEPPFA supports a harmonization and is working together with the European Drinking Water (EDW) association to achieve this goal. The EDW is an alliance of the European trade associations representing industries involved in the supply of products, or materials, used in drinking water applications and connected to municipal drinking water supplies in Europe.

European Drinking Water and TEPPFA suggest to base a future European Harmonization on the 4MS initiative: Four EU Member States (France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), announced in January 2011 that they have formalized arrangements to work together with the objective to reach a ‘Common Approach’. The objective of the ‘Common Approach’ is to harmonize tests and testing requirements ensuring that products in contact with drinking water are suitable to maintain the hygienic safety of drinking water. The work on the ‘Common Approach’ is currently ongoing.

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