Potable Water Standards | PB-1 Piping Systems

All materials used as components of Polybutene-1 piping systems when in permanent or temporary contact with water intended for human consumption must not adversely affect the quality of the drinking water in accordance with the applicable EC Directives and EFTA Regulations on the quality of drinking water.

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Potable Water Quality

PB-1 piping systems are free of any water contamination at the tap due to corrosion. PB-1 grades for potable water systems, comply with strict regulatory and certification requirements.

Standards applicable to the potable water quality of PB-1 piping systems

Currently, unilateral European standards are unavailable for the accreditation of potable water piping systems.

Consequently in June 2000, in an attempt to address this situation, the European Commission initiated a European Acceptance Scheme (EAS) with the objective of harmonising the existing national certification procedures for testing construction products in contact with water intended for human consumption, under the umbrella of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

The accreditation bodies responsible for drinking water quality in each of the member states are contracted to undertake the necessary development work in four co-operative working groups. Until the scheme comes into force, national accreditation procedures for potable water systems will still apply.

Polybutene-1 grades marketed for pipe production in Europe conform to all existing national standards.

The latest generation PB-1 grades deliver improved water quality properties providing the potential to meet future stringent organoleptic requirements.

Product standards accreditation and suitability of purpose

It is the responsibility of every manufacturer to ensure that the products they sell are fit for their intended purpose. Standardisation bodies such as BSI, DIN, EN and ISO, provide the test methods and performance testing protocols by which manufacturers seek accreditation of their products. Using these standard test methods, accreditation bodies such as DVGW, KIWA, BSI and BBA provide the manufacturer with a recognised certification that their product meets an acceptable level of performance.

The Standards listings provided on the Standards pages of the PBPSA website and downloadable PDF file are for information only and although updated periodically, are not guaranteed to be exhaustive. Therefore, the responsibility to determine the standards to which a manufactured product must comply and obtaining approvals for those products and assembled systems from National and International hygiene and water quality authorities lies with the manufacturers of such products.

Questions relating to accreditations for particular products should therefore be addressed to the specific manufacturer.

Product compliance to the relevant National and International standards provides the purchaser and consumer with an assurance that the product will prove to be suitable for its intended purpose. The standardisation procedures associated with the performance of hot and cold water pressure pipes are extensive and demanding.

ISO/EN Standards

Existing ISO/EN water quality standards
ISO CD 7686 (EN) Plastics pipes and fittings – Determination of opacity

The test method is necessary for a pipe or fitting used for water supply which is exposed to visible light during service to be sufficiently opaque to prevent algae growth.
Replacement for EN 578.
ISO 8795 (EN) Plastic piping systems for the transport of water intended for human consumption – Migration assessment

Determination of migration values of plastics pipes and fittings and their joints.
Evaluation of the data is described in ENV 852.
EN 578 Plastics piping systems – Plastics pipes and fittings - Determination of opacity

Of importance when algae growth must be considered.
Withdrawn and replaced by ISO 7686.
EN806 Specification for installations inside buildings conveying water for human consumption

EN 806-1  -  Part 1: General
EN 806-2  -  Part 2: Design
EN 806-3  -  Part 3: Pipe sizing – Simplified method
EN 806-4  -  Part 4: Installation
EN 806-5  -  Part 5: Operation and maintenance

This European standard specifies requirements for and gives recommendations on the design, installation, alteration, testing, maintenance and operation of drinking water installations within buildings and for certain purposes pipework outside buildings but within the premises. It is applicable to the system of pipes, fittings and connected appliances installed for supplying drinking water.
ENV 852 Plastic piping systems for the transport of water intended for human consumption – Migration assessment - Guidance on the interpretation of laboratory derived migration values

This Technical Report is applicable to plastics pipes, joints and fittings to be used for the transport of water intended for human consumption and raw water used for the manufacture of water intended for human consumption. It gives guidance on:
a) the number of successive migration periods to be carried out;
b) how to interpret M values calculated from successive migration periods;
c) a method for converting M values into values that reflect field use conditions;
d) acceptance criteria for the duplicate M values obtained by testing in accordance with EN ISO 8795.
EN 1420 Influence of organic materials on water intended for human consumption – Determination of odour and flavour of water in piping systems - Test method

Draft under evaluation.
EN 12873 Influence of materials on water intended for human consumption – Influence due to migration

EN 12873-1  -  Part 1: Test method for non-metallic and non-cementitious factory made products
EN 12873-2  -  Part 2: Test method for non-metallic and non-cementitious site-applied materials
EN 12873-3  -  Part 3: Test method for ion exchange and adsorbent resins
EN 12873-4  -  Part 4: Test method for water treatment membranes

This European Standard specifies a procedure to determine the migration of substances from non-metallic and non-cementitious factory made or factory applied products for use in contact with water intended for human consumption. This standard is applicable to products intended to be used under various conditions for the transport and storage of water intended for human consumption, including raw water used for the production of water intended for human consumption. It covers the extraction by water of substances from the finished products.
EN 12108 Plastics piping systems – Guidance for the installation inside buildings of pressure piping systems for hot and cold water intended for human consumption

This European Technical Report recommends practices to be followed in the application and installation of thermoplastics pipes and associated fittings. These fall within the scope of EN 806-1 and, EN ISO 15874, EN ISO 15875, EN ISO 15876, EN ISO 15877 and EN ISO 22391 to be used for hot and/or cold water distribution intended for human consumption inside buildings. This document can also be used for heating installations if applicable, except for under floor heating for which EN 12164 can apply.

Guidance is also given on acceptable methods of jointing polybutene (PB), crosslinked polyethylene (PE-X), polypropylene (PP), chlorinated poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC-C) and Polyethylene of raised temperature resistance (PE-RT) pipes and associated fittings, together with recommendations for their storage, handling and transportation.

Until requirements and methods are accepted on an international level for all piping systems and associated components, all applicable national regulations and statutory building codes relating to PB-1 piping systems for each country and project location must be observed.

EU Water Authorities

The European national water authorities & accreditation bodies are:
Austria Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Chemie und Technik
Denmark Dansk Toksikologi Center
France ACS (Attestation de Conformité Sanitaire) by Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS)
Accredited laboratories: Groupe CARSO, Lyons, France - Eurofins IPL, Maxeville, France
Germany DVGW - TZW Deutsche Vereinigung des Gas- und Wasserfaches - Technologiezentrum Wasser
Great Britain WRAS
Italy Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Portugal Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres, SA
Spain Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Sweden SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute
The Netherlands The Netherlands KIWA N.V.

Components made from Polybutene-1 intended for use in the conveyance of water for human consumption fulfil all existing requirements of national and international applicable standards in Europe.

EU Approvals

Organoleptic and food contact approvals

Polybutene-1 piping systems are designed to meet stringent organoleptic and food contact approvals and are well suited for drinking water applications.

European Approvals

Country Authority Approval


Polska Instal

Önorm ISO 15876
BS EN ISO 15876
ISO 15876
Attestation de Conformité Sanitaire
DIN 16968/DIN 16969
Water Quality Approval Germany
ISO 15876
BRL K 536
BRL 5604/5
Water Quality Approval Netherlands
TIN – BS 7291 & ISO 158756
ISO 15876
UNE EN ISO 15876
ISO 15876

BS 7291

Water Quality Approval


Polybutene-1 is often referred to as Polybutene, Polybutylene, PB-1 or PB.

Polybutene-1 is not sold by PBPSA members for use in pipe applications intended for use in North America, and those parties require their customers or distributors not to sell products made from PB-1 into pipe applications for North America.

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