Access to clean drinking water is a human right.
The European Parliament adopted last December the revised Drinking Water Directive (DWD). The new Directive will guarantee safer access to water for all Europeans. At the same time, it will ensure the highest standards in the world for drinking water. It aims at improving consumers’ confidence in the safety of tap water and allows for access to safe drinking water for all.
For the first time, uniform requirements are set for materials in contact with drinking water, including plastic piping systems. Within four years, a first European positive list of starting substances as well as procedures and methods for testing and accepting materials and products will be established.
The revised Drinking Water Directive modernizes the 20-year-old drinking water directive (98/83/EC) comes as a result of a long job of the Commission on the REFIT of the old Directive and the contribution of the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Right2Water’.
Key features of the new Directive are:
From the point of view of companies producing both manufactured goods but also materials intended for contact with drinking water, the main benefit of the entry into force of the new European Regulation is the regulatory harmonization based on the principle of mutual recognition for which one Member State “cannot prohibit the sale in its territory of goods which are lawfully produced and/or marketed in another Member State”. The mutual recognition principle will lead to greater economic sustainability of the production and marketing of manufactured goods and materials intended for contact with drinking water.
Article 11 of the new DWD traces a well-defined path towards a Europe with common legislation that defines the criteria and evaluation methods for materials intended to come into contact with drinking water.
Four pillars are defined for the evaluation of materials that must not:
The implementation of DWD will have two important deadlines:
12 January 2024: definition of methodologies for testing and accepting starting substances, compositions and constituents to be included in European positive lists of starting substances, compositions or constituents, including specific migration limits and scientific pre-conditions related to substances or materials;
12 January 2025: the issue of European positive lists of starting substances, compositions or constituents for each group of materials, namely organic, cementitious, metallic, enamels and ceramic or other inorganic materials, which are authorised for use in the manufacture of materials or products in contact with water intended for human consumption, including, where appropriate, conditions for their use and migration limits, which are to be determined on the basis of the methodologies adopted
The European positive list of starting substances for organic materials shall take into account the list established by the Commission pursuant to Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. Therefore for plastics materials including Thermoplastic Elastomers, the starting point will be the positive list issued in Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 10/2011.
The verification of the suitability of plastic materials for contact with drinking water will take place above all based on the criterion of “non-alteration” of the quality of the water.
Sensory/organoleptic tests are foreseen together with the verification of the migration of numerous substances, among which the following stand out: Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Bisphenol A, PFAS, PAH, Vynil chloride, the various heavy metals already regulated and other.
MARFRAN srl has been producing and supplying certified TPE compounds for use in contact with drinking water for many years according to some of the currently active national standards. The experience gained in recent years will be the basis for the next adaptation to the new European Directive which will allow easier access to the various national markets.
MARFRAN srl can offer two different product families for materials dedicated to contact with drinking water:
MARFRAN srl is constantly improving the perfomances of its materials in order to be allined to the new European Directive on drinking water and offer the best solutions to its customers.