What is the zero principle
The drinking water ordinance: protection for pure enjoyment
Water is not only the most important food for humans. Guaranteed access to clean water is a fundamental part of the state's public interest for all citizens. Read at Efficiency House-online how the Drinking Water Ordinance brings this claim into legal form and find out how good tap water really is in Germany!
What is a drinking water ordinance?
The "Ordinance on the Quality of Water for Human Consumption" or TrinkwV 2001 for short is a federal legal ordinance with validity throughout the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Paragraph one defines: "The purpose of the regulation is to protect human health from the adverse effects resulting from the pollution of water intended for human consumption by ensuring its wholesomeness and purity [...]."
The Drinking Water Ordinance thus not only protects tap water. In addition, mineral water and drinking water sold in bottles as well as the water quality in swimming pools and spas are covered by the standard.
The Drinking Water Ordinance lists strict limit values for all known substances that are contained in drinking water and that can be harmful to the human organism. The limit values guarantee that the maximum dose absorbed with the water cannot impair health. Heavy metals are an important group of substances that are controlled in this way.
Other substances can have effects and interact with other substances in a way that cannot be clearly identified. The zero principle applied here. The permitted dose may only be so low that it could not be detected in the laboratory with the state of the art at the time the regulation was adopted. Due to technical progress, however, extremely small traces can still be detected today. The zero principle is therefore in fact untenable.
Biological pollution affects germs, especially fungi, bacteria and other single-celled microorganisms that are harmless under normal circumstances. If the concentration is too high, the microorganisms can be harmful to health. Therefore, the conditions of the water supply must be designed in such a way that contamination is ruled out. In addition to constant water exchange and cool temperature, the measures also include a number of other measures.
Particular attention is paid to pathogens such as streptococci and salmonella. Their occurrence is regularly examined in order to react quickly and effectively to any occurrence.
Many impairments are harmless to health
There are also many types of contamination that are harmless in terms of health, but undesirable for other reasons. There can be aesthetic reasons for this. Too high iron values cause a brown discoloration, which is perceived as unsavory and dirty. The same applies to all ingredients that change the smell and taste of drinking water. Technical reasons also suggest regular monitoring of the drinking water. Too much water hardness and a high chloride or sulfate content increase the wear and tear on sensitive systems and devices.
Who controls compliance with the Drinking Water Ordinance?
The implementation of the Drinking Water Ordinance is guaranteed by a close-knit network of regulations and control mechanisms. The main responsibility rests with the local water supplier. Its liability extends to the main tap of a building. According to this, the owner or operator of the building is obliged to ensure that drinking water is in good condition.
Regular checks and spot checks are carried out by the local health authorities: Both in the public supply network and in installations in private and public buildings.
What can homeowners do themselves?
Since the responsibility of the water supplier ends at the main tap, it is the task of every homeowner to operate their own system properly. Errors in the planning, assembly or operation of a system can, for example, trigger the formation of legionella.
If your drinking water installation or hot water supply is in need of renovation, there are many options open to you with a modern instantaneous water heater or an elegant fresh water station. There is certainly no reason to buy packaged drinking water. After all, tap water is the best controlled food in Germany and the limit values are stricter than those for mineral water off the shelf.
Source: Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH
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