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Parliamentary questions
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17 July 2013
Question for written answer E-008794-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Drinking water quality and transposition of European directives
 Answer in writing 

The Oiola Reservoir, in Bizkaia province (Basque Country — Spain), is a catchment point for waters used to produce water for human consumption.

In 2008, the Basque Government detected a high level of HCH/Lindane isomers in already treated waters. Specifically: 154 ng/l alpha-HCH; 26 ng/l beta-HCH and 13 ng/l delta-HCH, giving a total of 193 ng/l HCH. On the same date, the reservoir’s waters showed maximum levels of almost 500 ng/l HCH.

Several studies conducted were unable to determine the source of HCH contamination, but concluded that the contaminated waters came from the Gorriga stream and increased with heavy rain.

Based on this, a protocol was issued setting a limit on the use of waters from the reservoir to a maximum flow of 50 l/s in the stream and a limit of 25 ng/l on the total of HCH isomers in these waters and 20 ng/l for each isomer.

The Basque Government applies the limits laid down in Royal Decree 140/2003, which establishes health criteria for drinking water quality, including limits on pesticides — both individual (100 ng/l) and total (500 ng/l) — without express reference to HCH. This legislation has not been updated to meet new requirements under European legislation.

This may involve the infringement of Directives 98/83/EC, 2000/60/EC, 2008/105/EC and 2009/90/EC.

Does the Commission consider the European directives on water quality for human consumption to have been correctly transposed and implemented?

Original language of question: ESOJ C 87 E, 26/03/2014
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