Danes worry about the future of tap water quality

Lucie Rychla
July 19th, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

New rules allow the import of faucets that do not meet high Danish standards

Transport and construction minister, Hans Christian Schmidt, has come under a wave of criticism after he passed new legislation in the beginning of July, which allows foreign faucets and other water installations to be sold in Denmark, even though they do not meet local standards of quality.

Critics argue that the quality of drinking water in Denmark will deteriorate as a consequence and it will not be safe to drink from the tap in the future.

READ MORE: Groundwater in Danish capital at risk of contamination

Contain carcinogens
Over the past two years, a third of German faucets and other water-supply products have been rejected by the Danish Institute for Water and Environment because they contained high doses of harmful carcinogenic chemicals, including formaldehyde, phenol and acrylonitrile.

“These new rules will destroy public confidence in [the quality of] drinking water, which has been built over decades,” Erik Arvin, a professor emeritus for water supplies at DTU Environment, told Politiken.

READ MORE: Danish capital offers free drinking water

Slow authorisation process
Elly Kjems Hove, a branch director at Dansk Industri, argues that the new rules will help introduce new products to the Danish market.

“Since 2013, we have had a very ambitious authorisation [procedure] for faucets, but it is too complicated and has never really worked,” Hove told DR.

“Applications for authorisation have instead been piling up.”

Out of 585 applications received in the spring, only 158 have been processed.

READ MORE: Huge municipal price difference in drinking and waste water

May be reconsidered
Schmidt has, however, decided to give the new rules on faucets a once over.

“It is important we tread carefully when it comes to the Danish drinking water,” stated the minister.

“We had rules in this area that did not work, but we must ensure that the new order works as planned and does not lead to unintended consequences.”


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