Copper and Copper Alloys in Contact with Drinking Water

Four Member States— UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands (4MS)—worked together on the convergence of their national acceptance schemes to develop the 4MS approach to approval of materials (e.g. copper alloys) in contact with drinking water. This was driven by the absence of a European Acceptance Scheme (EAS) for materials.

Acceptance of metallic materials used for products in contact with drinking water—4MS Harmonisation and Approval approach—consists of two parts:

  • Part A—Procedure for the acceptance
  • Part B—4MS Common composition list

The 4MS have adopted common, or directly comparable, practices for:

  • The acceptance of the constituents used in materials in contact with drinking water
  • The testing of materials
  • The use of common test methods and setting acceptance levels
  • The specification of tests to be applied to products
  • Reviewing factory production control and setting audit testing requirements
  • Assessing the capabilities of certification and testing bodies

Testing of materials is in accordance with Part A-Procedure for the Acceptance. Materials that pass can then be included on the common Composition list (Part B). Materials may only be used for certain product groups due to restrictions with respect to the surface area that is assumed to be in contact with the drinking water.

A – Pipes in buildings installation (assumed 100% surface contact).
B – Fittings in buildings e.g. pump bodies, valves, and water meters (assumed 10% surface contact).
C – Components of group B, e.g. a spindle of a pump (assumed 1% surface contact).
D – Components of fittings in water treatment works (assumed 1% surface contact).

The table below, arranged by copper/copper family, is of importance to designers, manufacturers and engineers who are involved in the production, treatment, distribution and applications of drinking water.

The national competent authorities involved in 4MS are:

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (United Kingdom)
  • Bundesministerium fùr Gesundheit (Germany)
  • Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Santé (France)
  • Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu (Netherlands)
DescriptionEN
Number
EN
Symbol
Product Group
CoppersCW004ACu-ETPC-D
CoppersCW008ACu-OFB-D
CoppersCW020ACu-PHCB-D
CoppersCW021ACu-HCPB-D
CoppersCW023ACu-DLPB-D
CoppersCW024ACu-DHPA-D
Copper-zincCW501L-DW*CuZn10C-D
Copper-zincCW506L-DW*CuZn33B-D
Copper-zincCW507L-DW*CuZn36B-D
Copper-zincCW508L-DW*CuZn37B-D
Copper-zincCW509L*CuZn40B-D
Copper-zincCW510L*CuZn42B-D
Copper-zincCW511LCuZn38AsB-D
Copper-zincCW603N*CuZn36Pb3C-D
Copper-zincCW612N*CuZn39Pb2B-D
Copper-zincCW614N*CuZn39Pb3C-D
Copper-zincCW617N*CuZn40Pb2B-D
Copper-zincCW625NCuZn35Pb1.5AlAsB-D
Copper-zincCW626NCuZn33Pb1.5AlAsB-D
Copper-zincCW725R*CuZn33Pb1AlSiAsB-D
Copper-zincCC757S*CuZn39Pb1Al-CB-D
Copper-zincCC770SCuZn36Pb-CB-D
Copper-zincCC771SCuZn36AlAsSb-CB-D
Copper-zincCC772SCuZn36Pb1.5AsSbAlB-D
Copper-zincCC773SCuZn42Al-CB-D
Copper-zincCuZn35Al1.5SnB-D
Copper-zincCuZn35Al-CB-D
Copper-tinCW453KCuSn8C-D
Copper-tinCC480KCuSn10-C*B-D
Copper-tinCC499K*CuSn5Zn5Pb2-CB-D
Copper-tinCuSn4Zn2PSB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCC245ECuSi4Zn4MnP-CB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCC246ECuSi4Zn9MnP-CB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCW724RCuZn21Si3PB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCC768SCuZn21Si3PB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCuSi4Zn4MnPB-D
Copper-zinc-siliconCuSi4Zn9MnPB-D
Copper and Copper Alloys in Contact with Drinking Water (4MS)copperalliance.org.uk

Table Notes
*Contents of certain elements are further restricted (see Part B—4MS Common composition list).