The German Drinking Water Ordinance, which provides the legal foundation, stipulates high quality level from the water supplier to the household tap.
According to the Drinking Water Ordinance, the consumption or use of water may never pose a threat to human health. This is the responsibility of the water suppliers who operate the supply networks as well as the proprietors or operators of the drinking water installations, i.e. the property owners or administrators. It is not the responsibility of owner-occupied homes and tenants.
In order to ensure the mandatory high water quality, those responsible must meet the following prerequisites:
- The chemical and microbiological composition of the water must always correspond to the requirements of the Drinking Water Ordinance. This must be monitored by the local health authorities.
- The generally accepted technical standards must be adhered to during water catchment, water treatment and water distribution. This includes the regulations of the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) and the German Technical & Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW).
Tightened Regulations Apply
Please note: the Second Decree for the Amendment of the Drinking Water Ordinance came into effect on 14th December 2012. This has further tightened the quality requirements.
Limits for uranium apply for the first time
A limit for uranium content has been determined for the first time. The contamination level of drinking water with the toxic heavy metal may no longer exceed 10 micrograms (0.010 milligrams) per litre. In this way, the Drinking Water Ordinance is reacting to the scientifically proven negative health effects which occur from higher concentrations of uranium. In Berlin, the uranium level is below the limit.
Stricter limit values for cadmium and lead
The limit value for the heavy metal cadmium has been lowered from 5 to 3 micrograms (0.003 milligrams) per litre of drinking water.
A stricter limit value of 10 micrograms (0.010 milligrams) per litre of drinking water applies for lead since December 2013. In the water we supply, both values lie below the limit of detection. This value, however, can also be effected by materials used in household installations.
Mandatory testing for legionella
The new Drinking Water Ordinance defines new duties and responsibilities for owners and commercial operators of drinking water installations for protecting against legionella.