Energy

Radioactivity in drinking water

Radioactivity in drinking water

The Euratom Drinking Water Directive provides a framework for controlling radioactivity in drinking water and the radiation dose received from the consumption of different forms of drinking water.
The Directive applies to tap water and to water in bottles or containers intended for human consumption. It does not apply to natural mineral waters and to small private supplies. The Directive deals with natural as well as with artificial radionuclides. It lays down general principles for monitoring and gives technical details (frequencies of sampling, analysis methods, measuring methods, etc.).


The Directive lays down values for radon, tritium, and the so-called 'indicative dose', which covers many other radionuclides. The values have an indicative function: they are not limits. Exceeding a value should not be regarded as a health risk without examining the situation more closely. A thorough investigation may – if warranted – lead to remedial action. In the event of this, the public has to be informed.