"Buy with Confidence" from BPMA Members

Updates to the Drinking Water Directive ahead


Through its membership of Europump, the European association of pump manufacturers, the British Pump Manufacturers' Association, BPMA, has been heavily involved in the revision of the 20-year-old EU Drinking Water Directive. The association explained some of the implications of the revised directive ahead of its expected adoption next year.

The Drinking Water Directive's (DWD) proposed new rules update the quality standards drinking water must meet and introduce a cost-effective risk-based approach to monitoring water quality. They also contain new provisions on materials that are in contact with drinking water along with new obligations to improve access to water.

The planned new procedure to set hygienic requirements for materials that interact with water intended for human consumption aims to improve the quality of such materials and ensure that human health is protected, and that no contamination takes place.

To that effect, the technical and standards committees within Europump, of which the BPMA is part, have each contributed countless hours of guidance to help ensure that manufacturers of pumps and their related systems are fully able to comply with the revisions.

The drivers behind the revisions to the DWD are, of course, well-meaning, and it is in everyone's interest that water quality is of the highest standard. But to achieve its goals, the directive must take full account of the knowledge and expertise of the pump manufacturing sector. Standardisation across the region is
paramount, for a host of environmental, health & safety and commercial reasons, and it is through this information transfer that the correct protocols can be determined, and the final deliverables achieved.

Europump and its member associations have been at the forefront of the drive for harmonisation of quality standards for products that come in to contact with drinking water since 2015 when it became instrumental in an initiative known as European Drinking Water (EDW).

EDW is an alliance of European trade associations representing industries that manufacture and supply products used in drinking water applications. Its membership which now numbers some 30 organisations includes representatives from the pump, pipe, valve, tap, seal, meter, water heater, water treatment and catering equipment industries, along with their associated material suppliers; in effect, the entire supply chain.

Throughout the past five years, EDW has been active in discussing the standardisation issue, establishing a common view, and preparing proposals for legislators. It has engaged and cooperated with the EU, individual member states and national regulatory authorities to establish an appropriate regulatory basis for harmonised procedures in the assessment and certification of materials that are in contact with drinking water.

Robert Dodane of Wilo Salmson, and Chair of Europump's Technical Commission commented: "Having already spent a great deal of time and effort in finding a pathway through the standardisation minefield, we welcome the EU's proposed revision to the Drinking Water Directive. Indeed, adjustment to the existing provision on materials that come in to contact with water is seen by our industry as a credible approach to achieving the harmonisation we all seek, but we would strongly urge the adoption of the EDW's suggestions in this regard."

It is not expected that the DWD will contain a set of detailed rules, moreover a framework whereby the EU could progressively adopt lists of allowable substances and materials, test methods, verification procedures and of course the required legislative tools.

However, with each of the three European institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council) having now commented on the DWD, especially on the key area of materials and products in contact with water, discussions and negotiations are ongoing.

Julien Chalet of Evolis, who represents Europump within EDW, concludes: "As and when the revised Drinking Water Directive is adopted sometime in 2020, it will only be the starting point for the standardisation of hygienic requirements for materials in contact with drinking water; it will take a few more years before a truly comprehensive system is in place across Europe.”

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