The German Drinking Water Ordinance (TrinkwV), as amended on May 21, 2001, came into force on January 1, 2003. It has been amended several times since 2011. The last amendment came into force on 22.09.2021.
The aim of the Drinking Water Ordinance is to ensure a high quality of water supplied to consumers in microbiological, chemical and physical terms. This is to protect human health from adverse effects that may result from the contamination of drinking water.
The operators of water supply systems are responsible for the perfect quality of the drinking water they supply.
They must ensure this by conducting their own tests on the drinking water. The scope of testing covers microbiological, chemical and physical parameters. The tests may only be carried out by laboratories accredited for drinking water tests, which are approved after inspection by the notified body responsible in the respective federal state. In Bavaria, the Notified Body at the State Office for Health and Food Safety is responsible for this. It publishes the current list of approved drinking water testing laboratories on its website.
Independently of this, the water supply systems are officially monitored by the health authorities.
The Drinking Water Ordinance stipulates that consumers must be informed at least annually by the operator of the water supply system about the quality of the drinking water by means of suitable and up-to-date information material. Upon request, individual results of drinking water tests must be made available to the consumers concerned in accordance with § 21 Para. 1 Sentence 3 TrinkwV. In the case of water treatment, the duty to provide information also includes the treatment substances used. Furthermore, consumers must be informed about exceptionally permitted deviations from the specifications of the Drinking Water Ordinance or restrictions on use.
Duty of notification
In particular, the construction, commissioning, decommissioning and structural and operational changes to water supply systems must be notified by the operator to the health authority in accordance with § 13 TrinkwV. Service water systems (e.g. rainwater utilization) that are installed in the household in addition to the drinking water system must also be notified.