Directive on the Quality of Drinking Water (1980/778)

Title: EC Directive on the Quality of Drinking Water

Category: EU Directive

Date: 1980

Reference: 80/778/EEC [Full text]

General Description:

This directive includes 21 Articles and concerns standards for water intended for human consumption. It directs member states to ensure regular monitoring of the quality of water for human consumption to check that they meet the requirements of the Directive. Annex I identifies 62 parameters, sets the guide levels for each parameter, indicates the maximum admissible concentrations and provides details under a comments list.

The parameters are categorised as follows:

  1. Organoleptic - e.g. colour, turbidity, odour, taste;
  2. Physico-chemical - e.g. pH, dissolved oxygen;
  3. Undesirable Substances - in excessive amounts e.g. nitrates, nitrites, phosphorus;
  4. Toxic substances - e.g. cyanides, mercury, pesticides
  5. Microbiological - e.g. faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci

Annex II of the Directive also specifies the frequency of standard analysis, and Annex III identifies the methods of analysis that are to be used.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Waste, Water

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