Directive 1980/778 - Quality of water intended for human consumption

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Current status

This directive was in effect from July 17, 1980 until December 25, 2003 and should have been implemented in national regulation on July 17, 1982 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Council Directive 80/778/EEC of 15 July 1980 relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 1980/778
Original proposal COM(1975)394 EN
CELEX number i 31980L0778


Key dates

Document 15-07-1980
Publication in Official Journal 30-08-1980; Special edition in Portuguese: Chapter 15 Volume 002,Special edition in Spanish: Chapter 15 Volume 002,Special edition in Finnish: Chapter 15 Volume 003,Special edition in Greek: Chapter 15 Volume 001,Special edition in Swedish: Chapter 15 Volume 003,OJ L 229, 30.8.1980
Effect 17-07-1980; Entry into force Date notif.
End of validity 25-12-2003; Repealed and replaced by 398L0083;
Transposition 17-07-1982; See Art 18
Notification 17-07-1980


Legislative text

Avis juridique important




Council Directive 80/778/EEC of 15 July 1980 relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption

Official Journal L 229 , 30/08/1980 P. 0011 - 0029

Finnish special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 3 P. 0003

Greek special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 1 P. 0255

Swedish special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 3 P. 0003

Spanish special edition: Chapter 15 Volume 2 P. 0174

Portuguese special edition Chapter 15 Volume 2 P. 0174

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE of 15 July 1980 relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption (80/778/EEC)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Articles 100 and 235 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (2),

Whereas, in view of the importance for public health of water for human consumption, it is necessary to lay down quality standards with which such water must comply;

Whereas a disparity between provisions already applicable or in the process of being drawn up in the various Member States relating to the quality of water for human consumption may create differences in the conditions of competition and, as a result, directly affect the operation of the common market ; whereas laws in this sphere should therefore be approximated as provided for in Article 100 of the Treaty;

Whereas this approximation of laws should be accompanied by Community action designed to achieve, by more extensive rules concerning water for human consumption, one of the aims of the Community with regard to the improvement of living conditions, the harmonious development of economic activities throughout the Community and a continuous and balanced expansion ; whereas certain specific provisions to this effect should therefore be laid down ; whereas Article 235 of the Treaty should be invoked as the necessary powers have not been provided for by the Treaty;

Whereas the 1973 (3) and 1977 (4) programmes of action of the European Communities on the environment provide for both the setting of standards to apply to toxic chemical substances and to bacteria presenting a health hazard which are present in water intended for human consumption and the definition of physical, chemical and biological parameters corresponding to the different uses of water and, in particular, to water for human consumption;

Whereas special rules are envisaged for natural mineral waters ; whereas, furthermore, it is necessary to exclude from the scope of this Directive medicinal waters and certain waters used in the food industry where such use does not constitute a hazard to public health;

Whereas by Directive 75/440/EEC (5), the Council has already laid down standards for surface water intended for the abstraction of drinking water;

Whereas the values fixed for certain parameters must be equal to or lower than a maximum admissible concentration;

Whereas, in the case of softened water intended for human consumption, the values fixed for certain parameters must be equal to or greater than a required minimum concentration;

Whereas it is desirable that the Member States should take the values adopted as a "guide level";

Whereas, since the preparation of water for human consumption may involve the use of certain substances, rules should be drawn up to govern the use thereof in order to avoid possible harmful effects on public health due to excessive quantities of such substances;

Whereas the Member States should be authorized to make provision, under certain conditions, for derogations from this Directive, in particular to take account of certain special situations;

Whereas, in order to check the values of concentrations for the different parameters, it is necessary to provide that Member States take the steps required to ensure (1)OJ No C 28,...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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