Plastics that come into contact with drinking water have to fulfil a set of requirements, including very low migration values, a high level of taste neutrality and a reassurance that long-term contact will not result in accelerated algae growth. There is no overall regime controlling these requirements in Europe, where each individual country has its own stipulations and approval for drinking water contact is granted by institutes that carry out tests and issue certificates on the basis of the corresponding requirements.
In Germany, the regulations include the Recommendations Pertaining to Plastics and Drinking Water as well as the standards of the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW; www.dvgw.de), while the UK regime is overseen by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and France requires approval from the Certificate of Sanitation Conformity (ACS). BASF said its entire "Aqua" portfolio had received all KTW, DVGW and WRAS approval for cold-water applications, and some grades were even deemed suitable for warm and hot water usage – the latter mostly used for showerheads and mixer faucets that require different sanitation standards than cold water used to flush toilets for instance. BASF said it would supply customers with the certificates from all the relevant institutes, adding that it would supply clients who require ACS or American National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approval with the necessary formulations.
The German group said it can test customer applications made from the "Aqua" range in its flow laboratory, which includes water meters, pipe fittings and other parts and tests them for long-term resistance against chlorinated water at various temperatures, pressures, pH values and flow rates. In addition, the group also offers burst pressure tests or other specific examinations.