Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Directive (EU) 2015/1787

European Union regions and countries implement the Directive 98/83/EC (“Drinking Water Directive”) in so far as it applies to large private water supplies and small private water supplies.

Some changes were made to the Drinking Water Directive by Directive (EU) 2015/1787. These changes need to be implemented by 27 October 2017.

The aim is to implement afresh, for large private water supplies, the Drinking Water Directive and Directive 2013/51/Euratom by replacing the existing Regulations (in so far as they apply to those supplies), with the draft Regulations.

Domestic legislation should, therefore, implement:

  • Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption (“the Drinking Water Directive”),
  • Directive (EU) 2015/1787 amending Annexes II and III to the Drinking Water Directive (“the Amending Directive”), and
  • Directive 2013/51/Euratom laying down requirements for the protection of the health of the general public with regard to radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption (“the Euratom Directive”).

The latest Directive requires to be transposed into domestic legislation by 27 October 2017. Private drinking water supplies impact on a number of policy areas, such as health, tourism and the rural economy.

The Amending Directive revises and replaces Annexes II and III to the Drinking Water Directive, which lay down the minimum requirements of the monitoring programmes for all water intended for human consumption and the specifications for analysis of different parameters. The specifications in the annexes require to be updated in the light of scientific and technical progress and to be consistent with other EU legislation. The Amending Directive is required to be transposed into domestic legislation by 27 October 2017.

Annex II has been amended to align to the latest updates to the World Health Organisation’s water safety plan approach based on risk assessment and risk management principles laid down in the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Experience has shown that, for many (particularly physico-chemical) parameters in drinking water, the concentrations present would rarely result in any breach of limit values. Monitoring and reporting such parameters without practical relevance imply significant costs, especially where a large number of parameters need to be considered. Introducing flexible monitoring frequencies under such circumstances presents potential cost-saving opportunities that would not damage public health or other benefits. Flexible monitoring also reduces the collection of data that provide little or no information on the quality of the drinking water. The amendments to Annex II allow Member States to derogate from the monitoring programmes they have established, provided credible risk assessments are performed, which may be based on the WHO Guidelines and should take into account the monitoring carried out under Article 8 of Directive 2000/60/EC (“the Water Framework Directive”).

Annex III has been amended to allow laboratories to use the most up-to-date European or equivalent international standards for the analysis of parameters and for the methods of analysis to be validated in accordance with the most recent standards.

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