On February 1, the European Commission published its proposal to revise the directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption, the so-called drinking water directive.
Main results of the Commission proposal
As regards the main provision concerning manufacturers of plant components, the Commission suggests changing the current 10 article on materials in contact with drinking water. According to the Commission's intentions, the reformulation of the provision should resolve the obstacle to the free movement of goods in the internal market with more than one item reported by the industry.
The article 10 now revised and entitled "Domestic distribution risk assessment", introduces the obligation to conduct risk assessments related to products and materials intended for contact with drinking water. Together with a standardization mandate to be issued under the Construction Products Regulation 305 / 2011 (CPR), this article should set out the hygiene and safety requirements for building materials in contact with drinking water. The purpose of this approach is to minimize the costs of approval and testing in EU countries by developing a standard at European level.
The proposal does not regulate individual products or product families.
Although this solution provides a basis for harmonization, it does not fully meet the needs of industry, as many products intended for contact with drinking water do not fall within the scope of the CPR.
Furthermore, the proposal requires Member States to ensure regular monitoring of certain parameters, in particular lead and legionella (Annex I, part C) and establishes rules on permitted quantities of certain substances in water. The new microbiological and chemical parameters for assessing the quality of water intended for human consumption are set out in Annex I.
The Commission has linked the proposal with the recently launched plastics strategy, proposing measures to reduce the consumption of plastic bottles and to monitor the presence of microplastics in water in order to develop mitigation measures.
The European Commission's proposal was published with the following documents:
• Impact Assessment and Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment
• European Commission press release
• Factsheet: Safer drinking water for all Europeans
The Commission also opened a public consultation on the proposed revision of the drinking water directive. The period to provide answers will last from the February 1 to the March 29 (see here).
In addition to the publication of the Commission proposal, the legislative procedure is launched. The European Parliament and the Council (Member States) will start discussions to amend the proposal.
Reaction of the sector
The EDW consortium which brings together the European industry of materials and products in contact with drinking water, of which ANIMA is a part, has published the attached press release.
EDW and ANIMA welcome the Commission's proposal, but underline that the proposal does not cover a significant number of products in contact with drinking water and that further efforts to refine the proposal are necessary if a real harmonization of the requirements is to be ensured. Community level. We therefore call on policy makers to fill this gap during the legislative process.