Managing internal water systems

Managing the water system

Whether for service sector or residential use, a building’s internal water distribution system usually has a public water supply. Good water management within the building will ensure its microbiological quality. 

The 1998 European Drinking Water Directive, introduced water quality compliance checks at the outlet used for human consumption, instead of at the building’s point of entry. As such, the quality of distributed water is no longer the sole responsibility of the water supplier, building owners and managers are also accountable. 

The water network must be designed and monitored to minimize the risk to health. If the water’s microbiological quality deteriorates, Legionella, Pseudomonas, or even atypical mycobacteria may develop, all of which are considered opportunistic pathogens for humans. The water provided for users in public and commercial buildings in France and throughout Europe is good quality. However, water cannot be free from all microbial risks, due to:

  • the complexity and inconsistencies of potable water distribution systems,
  • successive changes to original water systems inside a building,
  • new water distribution systems and materials,
  • the emergence of new bacteria.