New drinking water legislation in Europe

Вода 16.06.2023
New drinking water legislation in Europe focuses on turbidity

A premiere in European law for the protection of drinking water: for the first time, the new European Drinking Water Directive also provides for continuous online turbidity monitoring. In 2023, this must also be implemented in national legislation. Turbidity measurement thus takes on a new significance throughout Europe - and presents water suppliers with new challenges and requirements.

The draft of the new German Drinking Water Ordinance already takes turbidity into account. Here, continuous monitoring measurements must be carried out from a water volume of 10,000 m3/day delivered or produced in the supply area. The reference value is 0.3 NTU for 95 % of the samples and must not exceed 1.0 NTU. Water supply systems using groundwater resources where turbidity can be caused by iron or manganese are excluded. Here, regular turbidity checks are sufficient.

Now comprehensive risk assessments of the entire treatment line in the waterworks - including filtration, disinfection, etc. - have also become mandatory. Here, too, regular measurements will be necessary. 

In Germany, 74 % of drinking water production is based on the use of groundwater. Online turbidity measurement will therefore have to be used less intensively here, but is nevertheless particularly well suited for regular routine monitoring. In the other European countries, however, the conditions for drinking water abstraction are completely different. According to the European Environment Agency, 61.9 % of drinking water across Europe is obtained from rivers. Groundwater and artificial reservoirs such as dams are the basis in only 24.5 % of cases. In many countries, therefore, online turbidity measurement will soon take on a new significance, as it will be newly applied in many places.

Climate change will probably cause manganese and iron to reach higher concentrations as causes of turbidity due to drought and droughts and thus play an even greater role as a burden on groundwater. Accordingly, regular turbidity measurements with simpler probes or devices will become more important here. 

The new EU directive also ensures that new and more stringent parameters with corresponding limit values will appear in national regulations. These include bisphenol A, chlorite, chlorate, HAA5, microcystin-LR, lead, arsenic and chromium as well as somatic coliphages as microbiological parameters.

Lovibond® traditionally focuses on turbidity measurement in the development of test equipment for water analysis. Here we have a renowned team of internationally recognised turbidity experts who work continuously to design high-performance and innovative solutions to problems. These include the online process turbidimeters of the PTV series. Many technical innovations such as smart interface, bubble trap, simple design and significantly simplified maintenance make the instruments bestsellers in demand worldwide. This now includes the latest innovation, the TB350 laboratory turbidimeter, which also incorporates a new measuring technology with the patented Multipath 90°® BLAC sensor concept that guarantees unrivalled measuring accuracy over the entire range - in a portable measuring instrument with laboratory characteristics.