World Water Week (27-31 August 2012) reminds us that clean water resources are vital in our every daily lives, for drinking of course, but also for sanitation and food security. 3.41 million people are dying from water sanitation and hygiene-related causes each year; a child dies every 20 seconds in the world from a water-related illness! These figures are not acceptable and Europe is not at rest. Did you know that European standardization plays an important role in helping setting up environmental quality standards for water?
Water resources are under pressure and Europe is also under threat due to, among others, waste waters from industrial installations, and diffuse sources such as agriculture (e.g. pesticides running off into water from agricultural land). To help protecting European public health and Europe’s ecosystems, CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, was mandated by the European Commission (Mandate M/424) for the development or improvement of European Standards in support of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The Directive tackles a better control and management of the waters, i.e. groundwater and surface waters. How? By reducing dangerous chemicals in our waters and ensure water sustainable use.
CEN has been asked to develop European Standards to help supporting the monitoring requirements of the WFD for the quality of water. Indeed, the European Union Member States must achieve WFD objectives by the end of 2015. European Standards will contribute to ensure that monitoring programmes for the implementation of these objectives are measuring the chemical and ecological status of Community wasters in a comparable way.
CEN Technical Committee 230 (CEN/TC 230) on water analysis is the main responsible TC working on European Standards to support the Water Framework Directive with the elaboration of standard test methods for physical, chemical, biochemical, biological, microbiological examination of water quality. Included are as well methods for sampling, quality assurance, and classification aspects. Standards, European and international, related to water quality are more than a hundred. You can read more on them on our website: water analysis- published standards.
Two other Technical Committees are working on Standards related to water:
~ CEN/TC 164 – Water Supply
This TC is establishing standards for the installation and performance requirements of systems, constructions of components used for the water supply from the production facility, including the treatment of the water, to the taps attached or unattached to a sanitary appliance with the view of maintaining the quality of water.
~ CEN/TC 165 – Waste water engineering
This TC is developing functional standards, standards for performance and installation in the field of wastewater engineering for systems and components.Standards for design, calculation, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance in the field of wastewater engineering, from the point of origin (with the exception of the product standards for sanitary appliances*) up to the point of disposal, including treatment plants and use of treated wastewater for purposes other than agricultural irrigation.