Health for humans, animals & plants

Drinking water from mountain huts, alpine farms, wine taverns and catering establishments with their own water supplies

Final Report of Priority Action A-007-17

The aim of the focus action "Drinking water from mountain huts, alpine farms, wine taverns and catering businesses with their own water supply" was to check whether the food regulations for drinking water are complied with in these businesses. 265 samples from 132 enterprises from completely Austria were examined. The water from 25 establishments was rejected:

  • At 21 farms, the microbiological parameter values (E. coli or enterococci) were not complied with.
  • The parameter value for arsenic was exceeded at one farm.
  • At one farm the parameter value for nitrate was exceeded.
  • At two plants, exceedances of microbiological indicator parameter values were judged to be violations of the Drinking Water Ordinance.

Small drinking water suppliers (i.e. daily delivery volume < 10 m³) frequently experience microbiological problems. The focus action examined establishments that use their own water and are not part of a water cooperative or community. The scope of the examination was based on the minimum examination according to the Drinking Water Ordinance (microbiological and chemical analyses); in addition, the samples were examined for arsenic, lead and copper.

Arsenic is widely distributed in the earth's crust. It is used as an alloying component and can enter drinking water through weathering and corrosion. Lead and copper are used in many alloys, and copper is also used for piping. Especially in stagnant water, lead and copper are released by corrosion.

Last updated: 18.07.2022

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