Validating drinking water disinfection procedures according to EU BPR regulation with Eurofins/UBA lab-scale solution
Michele Cavalleri, Business Unit Manager, Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing Italy,MicheleCavalleri@eurofins.com
Disinfection procedures are of widely recognised relevance in ensuring the supply of safe drinking water. Disinfection is usually the final step during the production of drinking water, acting as an essential barrier against widespread human pathogens. Active substances for the disinfection of drinking water should be effective against a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
Authorisation of disinfectants for drinking water treatment in the EU is under the scope of the Biocidal Product Regulation (BPR), and the product authorisation requires demonstration of the treatment efficacy under conditions as described by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) disinfection efficacy guidance, Product type 5 (PT5) section (2018).
Until now, the only test method officially accepted by ECHA in the BPR disinfection efficacy guidance is the one established by the German Environment Agency (UBA), Section Drinking Water Treatment, the UBA test (2013). The protocol is part of BPR product authorisation for the following water treatment claims:
- Disinfection at the drinking water suppliers and their water distribution systems
- Disinfection of raw water for individual supply
- Disinfection of water for animals
Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing developed an in-house test system made of a test rig working in a flow-through mode similar to the disinfection procedures in waterworks, but under tightly defined conditions for input water DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon), pH, temperature, and flow-rate - exactly according to the requirements established by the UBA test (see photo).
Additionally, dosage systems for disinfectants, bacteria and viruses, and sampling points of microbiological and chemical analysis have also been validated by performing simulated use tests with the two standard disinfectants, as required by the German test guideline. In this way, Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing is currently the only CRO that can perform the UBA test and meet all BPR ECHA guidance requirements for biocides to be used for the treatment of drinking water.