The European four Member States (Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Holland) formalized an initiative in 2011 aimed at the convergence of the legislations of their own countries into one to ensure the hygienic safety of drinking water.
In addition, Portugal is now a Candidate Member, since planning to introduce a similar scheme following the 4MS Common approach.
The 4MS intends to adopt common, or directly comparable, practices for:
– The acceptance of the constituents used in materials in contact with drinking water
– The testing of materials
– The use of common test methods and setting acceptance levels
– The specification of tests to be applied to products
– Review of factory production control and setting audit testing requirements
– Assessment of the capabilities of certification and testing bodies
A Joint Management Committee has been created to coordinate the activities of the representatives of the adhering countries in support of the initiative.
Tasks have been assigned to each state so that each is working on a specific type of materials:
• Germany responsible for metallic materials.
• Holland responsible for organic materials.
• France responsible for cement materials.
• UK responsible for standards regarding microbiological and material growth and non-metallic materials.
Metallic Materials – What’s UBA? What’s UBA list?
The Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) is Germany’s central environmental authority. Established in 1974, the Federal Environment Agency is a partner and point of contact in Germany for a number of international institutions, for instance the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Environment Agency .
Pursuant to the amended German Drinking Water Ordinance, since December 2012 UBA has been tasked with specifying mandatory evaluation criteria for materials and substances that come into contact with drinking water. The guidelines and recommendations issued previously by UBA were less legally binding. The new guidelines and recommendations will be implemented in the mandatory evaluation criteria in the coming years.
Finally all the work of 4MS common approach was included in the last Revision (4th revision dated Jan. 20TH, 2015) of the document ‘ACCEPTANCE OF METALLIC MATERIAL USED FOR PRODUCTS IN CONTACT WITH DRINKING WATER’, see: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/topics/water/drinking-water/distributing-drinking-water/approval-harmonization-4ms-initiative.
The document is divided into:
Part A – with procedure for acceptance: The 4 MS have adopted Part A of this document as a common basis for implementing the concept of accepting metallic materials in their national regulations. This document is subject to revisions agreed by the 4MS.
Part B – 4MS with Common Composition Lists(https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/374/dokumente/150120_4ms_scheme_for_metallic_materials_part_b.pdf): this document includes a list of metallic material accepted in all of the 4MS following the procedure described in part A.
Which are the products affected by the UBA list:
Any product in contact with drinking water (wetted surface) including all products and components used in the water facilities for reservoir, treatment and distribution of the potable waters for human consumption.
Additional products include sanitary faucet products, valves, joints, tubes, pumps, water meters, filters, electrical and gas water heaters, solar boilers, heat pumps for the production of hot sanitary water, equipment for water treatment, etc.
Where does UBA list apply:
The adhering countries of the 4MS Group are responsible for the technical details of the work but it is important to stress the new regulations will become binding only after their implementation in the national legislative body of the individual adhering countries. This process of integration has separate timelines in each of the adhering countries which are undetermined and difficult to predict at this time.
The UBA list is currently in force in Germany.
RuB is – to the best to its knowledge – strictly following all regulations and rules in all countries and will continue to monitor situations as they develop in different countries. RuB is offering products made of brass alloys that are UBA list compliant.
Please contact us for any additional info.