Drinking water investigation: what costs are incurred and who has to carry them?

Due to the high risk of Legionella in home installations, it has been legally mandated that many homeowners who rent out have to have their drinking water checked regularly. What costs arise, and who has to bear the costs explained in detail this post.

Costs incurred

The homeowner must first install appropriate sampling points at his own expense. Depending on the size and type of plant, different numbers of sampling points are required. The costs depend on the respective workload of the executing GWH operation.

The test itself must be carried out by a certified laboratory, the costs are relatively uniform, but are based on the number of samples. Due to the necessary incubation of the water sample, the costs are in the range of around 170-200 EUR. The examination must be carried out at least every three years.

The homeowner is responsible for setting up the sampling points. The resulting costs are not recoverable. These are one-time costs that can not be charged on the operating costs.

However, the ongoing costs of the investigation may be charged to the tenants. They are considered normal operating expenses for the maintenance of the drinking water system. One basis for this is § 2 no. 17 of the Operating Costs Ordinance (BetrKV).

Obligation to test drinking water

Obliged to the drinking water test are all homeowners who own houses with more than two units and do not use at least one of them, but leave them for a consideration.

However, the duty to inspect is only valid if there is either a central heating system that holds more than 400 liters, or if there is at least 3 liters of water in the pipes between the hot water preparation plant and the most remote extraction point - this means a distance of around 15 - 20 meters.

For all differently designed apartments there is no obligation to examine. As a tenant or as a homeowner but you should definitely in your own health care and self-provision. Legionella can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases.

Self-test in the absence of commitment

Where there is no legal obligation, the investigation can also be carried out at your own expense. Many drinking water analysis laboratories also offer convenient complete examinations, in which detection of Legionella is often included.

Tips & Tricks

An examination of tap water is always recommended if you want to make sure that the house installation is free of defects.

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