Regulatory content

Drinking Water Directive

The quality of drinking water in the EU is regulated by Directive (EU) 2020/2184, the Drinking Water Directive (DWD). It is concerned with the quality of water intended for human consumption apart from natural mineral waters and waters which are medicinal products.

Drinking Water Directive


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Understanding the Drinking Water Directive

Protecting Human Health & the Environment

The goals of the DWD are to protect human health from the adverse effects of contamination by ensuring drinking water is wholesome and clean, and to improve access to water intended for human consumption.

Improve Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption

Member States were obliged to bring into force laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Articles 1 to 18, Article 23 and Annexes I to V of the DWD by 12 January 2023. When Member States adopt these measures, they shall contain a reference to the DWD or they shall be accompanied by this reference when they are officially published.

By 12 January 2026, Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the established parametric values for:

  • Bisphenol A
  • Chlorate
  • Chlorite
  • Haloacetic Acids
  • Microcystin-LR
  • PFAS Total
  • Sum of PFAS
  • Uranium

Until 12 January 2026, water suppliers shall also not be obliged to monitor water intended for human consumption in accordance with Article 13 for these parameters.

Positive Impact on the Environment

Article 11 of the DWD authorizes the establishment of 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
  • Ensure an assessment of water leakage levels and of the potential for improvements in water leakage reduction is performed

Who is impacted by the DWD?

Water suppliers, food business operators, as well as manufacturers of articles in contact with drinking water who are operating in EU Member States.

Risks of Non-Compliance

  • Member States are mandated to establish rules regarding penalties applicable to infringements of national provisions adopted pursuant to the DWD.

  • Penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States were required, by 12 January 2023, to notify the Commission of those rules and measures and shall notify it of any subsequent amendments affecting them.

Our Coverage of Drinking Water Directive Regulations

Our regulatory content in C2P is historically comprehensive with a robust QA process to ensure quality, consistency and accuracy. Below is a high level summary of our coverage for this topic:
  • EU: Quality of Water for Human Consumption, Directive (EU) 2020/2184
  • EU: Radioactive Substances in Water Intended for Human Consumption, Directive 2013/51/EURATOM
  • Croatia: Water Intended for Human Consumption, Law NN 30/2023
  • Estonia: Quality Control of Drinking Water, Regulation No. 61, 2019 – Amendment – (on implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/2184) Regulation No. 9, 2023
  • France: Implementation Directive (EU) 2020/2184 on the Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption, Ordinance No. 2022-1611
  • Germany: Water Resources Act, BGBl. 2585, 2009 – Amendment – (on regulation of drinking water production) Act, BGBl. 5, 2023
  • Ireland: European Union (Drinking Water) Regulations, SI 99/2023
  • Italy: Implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/2184 on Quality of Water for Human Consumption, Legislative Decree No. 18/2023
  • Romania: Quality of Drinking Water, Ordinance No. 7/2023
  • Sweden: Drinking Water Regulations, LIVSFS 2022:12

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