Drinking Water Directive
The quality of drinking water in the EU is regulated by Directive 98/83/EC, the Drinking Water Directive (DWD). It applies to all water intended for human consumption apart from natural mineral waters and waters which are medicinal products.
The aim of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD) is the protection of human health from the adverse effects of any contamination of water intended for human consumption.
On 5 February 2020, the EU published a draft directive which proposes to repeal the DWD. The draft proposes to update the quality standards that drinking water must meet and introduce a cost-effective risk-based approach to the monitoring of water quality. In addition, the updated rules set out minimum hygienic requirements for materials in contact with drinking water in order to ensure that human health is protected and no contamination takes place.
Under the Directive Member States are obliged to :
- Take the necessary measures to ensure the water does not contain concentrations of microorganisms, parasites or harmful substances that could be a danger to human health, and meets minimum microbiological and chemical standards
- Ensure the standards are met when the water comes out of a tap or tanker
- Monitor the water regularly at agreed sampling points in order to check that the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameter values are met
- Investigate immediately when the standards are not met and take the necessary corrective action
- Ban or restrict a water supply if it is considered to be a potential threat to public health
- Inform the public when corrective action is taken
- Publish a report every 3 years on drinking water quality
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