Drinking Water Directive
This Directive concerns the quality of water intended for human consumption. Its objective is to protect human health from adverse effects of any contamination of water intended for human consumption by ensuring that it is wholesome and clean.
The Directive laid down the essential quality standards at EU level. A total of 48 microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters must be monitored and tested regularly. Regular information regarding the quality of water has to be provided to consumers, and, additionally, reported to the European Commission every three years.
When translating the Drinking Water Directive into their own national legislation, EU Member States can include additional requirements, but they are not allowed to set lower standards as the level of protection of human health should be the same within the whole European Union.
The Drinking Water Directive applies to:
- all distribution systems serving more than 50 people or supplying more than 10 cubic meter per day, but also distribution systems serving less than 50 people/supplying less than 10 cubic meter per day if the water is supplied as part of an economic activity;
- drinking water from tankers;
- drinking water in bottles or containers;
- water used in the food-processing industry, unless the competent national authorities are satisfied that the quality of the water cannot affect the wholesomeness of the foodstuff in its finished form.