Monday 21st December 2015

Potable Water, Developing a new Standard

Following the success of an ESA internal project on test procedure for Packings for rotary applications being adopted as an agreed European standard, EN 16752, I have been asked to co-ordinate a project for the ESA on Potable Water, as you may have seen in the November ESA Newsletter.

I am aware that members in several divisions are becoming increasingly frustrated by the increasing costs of testing and approvals such as WRAS approval in the UK, and the reducing length of time such an approval is valid for.

The ESA Newsletter in November offered a link that details the "progress with European testing and approval of drinking water construction products". This suggests that there is a project under the guidance of DG Enterprise called "European Acceptance Scheme (EAS)", which is hoped to replace all the national regulatory schemes to ensure all products used with drinking water complied with the requirements of Article 10 (Quality assurance of treatment, equipment and materials) of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD).

There now appears to be a new group - the Expert Group - Construction Products Drinking Water (EG-CPDW) looking at a similar project.

So ESA is looking to see if we can use our technical expertise to help facilitate a standard that combines the best of all the national standards, and that could be considered for adoption as a European standard. As they say if you do not try, you will never succeed!

I have started an information gathering exercise to try to establish all the various local standards that are commonly used in Europe. We intend to review the details and hopefully suggest a comprehensive standard that could be adopted by all Europe and eliminate the existing, competing, national standards.

Whilst the project has only just started we have some detail on existing national standards that are commonly used in Europe:

  • France: France insists on ACS (Attestation de Conformitie Sanitaire) standard as being the only acceptable approval.
  • Germany: The German agency for gas and water, DVGW (Deutsche Vereinigung des Gas und Wasserfaches) insists on KTW (Kunstoffe und Trinkwasser) standard as being the only acceptable approval.
  • United Kingdom: UK specifies WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme). This scheme states it requires testing to be carried out in line with BS 6920.2000, using the procedures of ISO 17025.
  • Austria: Austria requires testing to OVGM (Osterreichische Vereirigung fur das Gas und Wasserfach) standard
  • Netherlands: Netherlands specifies that testing must take place at a KIWA test centre, where tests follow the procedure set out in ISO 17025. These facilities are able to test to all European standards.
  • Switzerland: The Swiss specify that test must be to SVGW (Schweizerische Verein des Gas und Wasserfaches) standard.
  • And just for the sake of completeness, United States of America: USA specifies the NSF (National Science Foundation)/ ANSI 61 standard.

An approval test can cost anything between 1,200 Euros to 7,000 Euros, dependent on the standard, and which approval test house is used.

If any member has information on standards; approved testing houses; costs for testing; and validity of test certificates, could they please send details to daemitch@btinternet.com it would be hugely appreciated. We will keep you updated on progress.

David Mitchell, ESA Standards and Legislation Director

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Potable Water, Developing a new Standard

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