Thursday 13th April 2017

ESA Potable Water project update

ESA attended the latest meeting arranged by the European Drinking Water (EDW) in Brussels on 22nd February. This group is very active with TG 164 committee and clearly the correct group for ESA to be involved with.

Meanwhile the ESA has now been formally accepted as a Liaison Member of TG 164 and can now officially attend meetings and vote.

The EC has cancelled Article 10 on the basis it was too wide in scope and it was clear that there would be no agreement on test standards amongst member states. They have set out a “route map” process offering 6 options.

EDW and ESA have voted for option 5 which will require a single harmonised EU test methods and common procedures, by material category and for assembled components by directive. This should incorporate harmonised test methods already agreed by TG 164. As most of the detailed work on the tests referring to Elastomers, Plastics, Metals and Cement has been completed, there is some hope that this MIGHT be a shorter process than the twenty years taken so far.

ESA has confirmed it will support the EDW position. The EC should:

  • Issue a mandate for the development of an EU wide conformity assessments and harmonised test methods, by specific material category. There also should be one for tests for assembled products made up of differing materials.
  • Identify a common (single) assessment scheme (perhaps follow the Construction Product Regulation (CPR) lead on harmonised procedures and tests).
  • Ensure Article 10 of the DWD should contain explicit reference to the harmonised test methods.
  • Ensure Article 10 of DWD empowers the Commission to adopt specific legally binding measures on the safety of materials and products in contact with drinking water.

This route has been chosen, above the “Mutual Recognition” option because it shows the best chance of success, because many of the details for material testing and acceptance have been agreed and final overall agreement is within touching distance, and it is politically possible and provides the best single test option.

This approach is partly spawned by the fact that the 4MS initiative has failed to produce an agreed single test, with Germany in particular, refusing to accept anything less than their test procedure.

The current EDW focus has been on Elastomers and Plastics working groups. Metals and Cement tests are both pretty much agreed.

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ESA Potable Water project update

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