Contents of the Drinking Water Ordinance

Drinking water is the number one food item. At the same time, it is also used for domestic purposes – bathing and showering, washing clothes or flushing the toilet. In Germany, drinking water must satisfy stringent quality requirements. The Drinking Water Ordinance (Trinkwasserverordnung – TrinkwV 2001), which translates the 1998 EC Drinking Water Directive into national law, specifies these requirements. Its most basic provisions include that drinking water must not only be free from unsafe levels of substances and pathogens, but that it must also be 'pure and wholesome'.

Moreover, the Drinking Water Ordinance regulates the duties incumbent on the water suppliers and monitoring authorities; it specifies the microbiological and chemical parameters as well as radiological requirements that must be tested for and the frequency with which drinking water must be monitored. In an effort to also ensure the water's hygienic safety, the Ordinance stipulates that limit values and water quality requirements be met in household taps.

Approval and Harmonization – 4 Member States Initiative

The four Member States Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have agreed on collaboration in the harmonization of tests for the hygienic suitability of products in contact with drinking-water.

The Drinking Water Ordinance was amended in March 2016. Its revision is currently underway.