Drinking water examination - which examination is obligatory for whom

Following a legal reorganization, certain homeowners are now required to carry out regular checks on drinking water. Who makes the audit, how to perform the audit, and what exactly is being audited explains in detail this post.

Risk of Legionella

Legionella control in German drinking water pipes is to be intensified because of the high number of health problems caused by legionella. Therefore, it has been legally mandated that homeowners have to conduct a regular check for Legionella infestation.

Legionella are dangerous whenever water is spewed, and fine droplets of water that are contaminated with legionella enter the respiratory tract. Then severe pneumonia, in many cases with fatal outcome, can be the result.

When drinking, they cause comparatively little damage, but occasionally cause infections in this way too.

audit requirement

The duty of regular drinking water testing in a certified lab does not affect all homeowners, but only a specific group of homeowners:

  • if there are more than two residential units in the house, and at least one of them is not used by the owner
  • if a central water heating (central boiler) with more than 400 liters exists or
  • if there are at least 3 liters of piping between the farthest hot water tap (in practice this is about 15-20 meters)

Homeowners are not affected by the obligation to check, but in any case should make provision in their own interest. The obligation to inspect also applies to housing cooperatives.

The landlord is obliged to check in these cases, the so-called technical measures value is exceeded, the health authority is to inform immediately that then prescribed further measures that must be strictly observed (showering ban, water barrier, line disinfection).

Anyone who does not comply with the statutory test obligation makes itself punishable and can be prosecuted with high penalties, as it deliberately endangers the health of the tenants.

Cost of the exam

Prior to the first test, approved GWH facilities must install appropriate sampling points. The law provides for a minimum withdrawal of three samples at different locations.

The cost of this measure is borne solely by the landlord. He may not transfer these one-off costs (depending on the effort and number of exit points) to his tenants. Since it is a structural effort to which the landlord is alone obliged, an apportionment is not justified.

However, the costs of the ongoing audits, which must take place at least every three years, may be charged against operating expenses and allocated to the lessees.

Tips & Tricks

Depending on the number of samples, the costs for a laboratory test for Legionella amount to about 200 EUR, because the detection procedure is very time-consuming due to the necessary incubation of the sample in the incubator for several days.

Video Board: What Will Happen If You Eat Nothing for 7 Days