The drinking water supplied in Malta, in its condition of being FIT FOR PURPOSE (or SUITABLE), complies in all cases with the demanding regulations of Maltese legislation, based on EU legislation (Directive 98/83/EC and Directive (EU) 1787/2915), which sets the maximum permissible values of each of the compounds to be controlled in the water (parametric values). This legislation is based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and, in the case of potentially carcinogenic compounds, applies an additional safety factor, resulting in even more restrictive values.
The values included in the European legislation are even more demanding than the guide values set by WHO, which are based on the studies that are continually carried out by its agency IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), the world’s leading scientific body in the study of cancer. Thus, by complying with the requirements of European and national legislations, the companies that supply drinking water are complying with much stricter values than those established by the WHO itself (based on the IARC agency studies).
In the case of trihalomethanes (THM), the aforementioned European directive, transposed into Maltese legislation, sets a limit of 100 μg/l (micrograms per liter). Maltese water THM levels stand at less than that, at 50 μg/l.
The draft of the new European Directive of water intended for human consumption, which foreseeably will be published during 2020, as a result of the consensus of the European institutions, currently maintains the same limit for THM. This value has been reconfirmed based on the recommendations of the WHO experts that have been consulted during the drafting and approval process. Therefore, from our technical point of view, the current limit is considered fully in force to guarantee health safety of water.
The Water Services Corporation in addition to complying thoroughly with the recommendations of the WHO and the requirements of the current European legislation, apply the best operational practices for the minimization of THM values below regulated values. The ongoing works which form part of the EU funded proejct Towards a Net Zero-Impact Utility will further minimize THM values and produce better tasting tap water.