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Materials for water supply and drainage systems Water supply and drainage


  • Efforts to ensure the safety of drinking water have led to more stringent regulatory standards for materials that come into contact with water. This has motivated designers to switch from metallic materials to resins, which protect against toxic substance elution and help to extend product lifetimes.
  • Drinking-water standards exist everywhere in the world. Here we discuss the primary regulations in force in Europe and the U.S.
  • Asahi Kasei provides engineering plastics compliant with European and American drinking-water standards.

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Plastics and the market for water supply and drainage systems

The United Nations’ sustainable development goals and other international efforts to improve water safety have intensified pressure on home builders and other construction-industry firms providing residential and sewage infrastructure to offer improved water safety, reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, and sustainable management of water resources. The goal of enhancing water safety, in particular, has led to a worldwide strengthening of regulatory standards for materials that come into contact with water, with the specific goal of preventing contamination by lead and other toxic eluents that leach into water from brass, copper, and other metals conventionally used to form pipes.

Hot/cold blending faucets

In addition, growing construction of housing, buildings, and infrastructure has increased demand for drinking-water systems, particularly in developing countries. As a result, home builders and other construction-industry firms face a difficult challenge: to take maximal advantage—as appropriate for specific individual circumstances—of materials satisfying regulatory standards around the world, all while navigating the increasing complexities of today’s supply chains.


In this environment, product designers have increasingly sought to replace metals with plastics as constituent materials for components designed to make contact with drinking water—including components that may seem invisible in our daily lives, such as water-use meters, faucets, showers, pipes, junctions, and filters.
But the advantages of switching to resin materials are not limited to protection against toxic eluents and contaminants; the unique properties of resins—including their good mechanical properties, their chemical resistance, and the fact that they do not rust—serve to extend product lifetimes, while their lower weight reduces the cost and environmental impact of shipping products.

Drinking-water standards

Products intended to make contact with drinking water must satisfy specific regulatory standards and certifications designed to ensure drinking-water safety. To this end, organizations existing to verify the safety of products and materials that interact with drinking water are present in many regions around the globe. Failure to obtain product certification within a given region prevents products from being developed for that region, and the materials used to fabricate products must also receive regulatory certification to verify compliance with necessary safety standards.
Below we briefly summarize some of the most important drinking-water standards in effect around the world today.

Drinking-water standards

Primary drinking-water standards

  • NSF: A certification provided in the U.S. by the National Sanitation Foundation International, a non-profit organization that issues various certifications related to hygiene and sanitation. The NSF/ANSI 61 certification for the sanitation-control and drinking-water industries is used not only in the U.S., but is also frequently required in a number of other countries.
  • KTW-BWGL: A certification provided in Germany by the Umweltbundesamt (UBA, German Environment Agency). The UBA issues documents relevant for a wide range of materials; resins intended for contact with drinking water are covered by the KTW-BWGL (previously known as the KTW Guideline). Driven by the progress of discussions regarding standardization, in 2019 it was decided to elevate the status of the regulations from Guidelines to Criteria, and this was enacted in March 2021. KTW-BWGL certification is not restricted to Germany, but is also widely used throughout Europe.
  • ACS: A national certification in France established by the Attestation de Conformité Sanitaire (ACS, a declaration regarding sanitary conditions) and applicable to products and materials designed to contact drinking water. All products intended to be used in contact with drinking water require ACS certification to be sold in France.
  • WRAS: A certification provided in the U.K. by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) in accordance with the U.K.’s BS6920 standard. This certification is applicable in the U.K. and other Commonwealth nations.

In addition to the above, a movement known as the 4MS-Initiative (4MSI) seeking to standardize European regulatory guidelines is active in four European nations—Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K.—making the European regulatory environment something of a moving target requiring careful attention in the years to come.

Asahi Kasei’s Recommended Solutions

Engineering plasitics for water supply and drainage systems

Asahi Kasei offers engineering plastics compliant with European and American drinking-water standards (including NSF, KTW-BWGL, ACS, and WRAS) to support our customers in producing products meeting all regulatory guidelines for drinking-water applications.

TENAC™ polyacetal resins

The excellent chemical resistance and well-balanced mechanical properties of Asahi Kasei’s TENAC™ polyacetal (POM) make them ideal for a wide variety of applications. We also provide grades of TENAC™ POM compliant with regulations governing products that make contact with food items, including the EU10/2011 standard in the European Union and the FDA21 CFR177 standard in the U.S. Please be aware that the use of TENAC™ POM for sewage-management applications is prohibited. For more information, please contact us using the links below.

LEONA™ polyamide resins

Asahi Kasei’s LEONA™ polyamide (PA) for water supply and drainage systems is reinforced by glass fibers to yield materials of outstanding high strength suitable for products subjected to heavy loading or high water pressure. For more information, please contact us using the links below.

water tanks for toilets

water tanks for toilets

Water meter cases

Water meter cases

XYRON™ modified polyphenylene ether resins

Asahi Kasei’s XYRON™ modified polyphenylene ether (PPE) resins comply with various standards regarding hot water environments and have been used in a wide variety of water-supply and drainage products and constructions. The high mechanical strength, high hydrolysis resistance, low moisture absorption, and excellent acid and alkaline resistance of these materials makes them a good choice for extending product lifetimes. Moreover, the outstanding dimensional stability and formability of XYRON™ resins makes them well-suited to efficient, low-cost manufacturing. For more information, please contact us using the links below.

Hot/cold blending faucets

Hot/cold blending faucets

Water sanitizing products

Water sanitizing products

Technical support for design and manufacturing

Resin CAE modeling and simulation support

Asahi Kasei offers a wide range of simulation capabilities based on resin CAE technology to help you design products based on engineering plastics. For example, switching from metal to engineering plastics requires design optimization of product shapes to ensure satisfaction of all relevant requirements. We offer simulation and optimization support–customized to accommodate the unique features of individual resins–to assist in your product design and manufacturing process.


For more information, please contact us using the links below.

CAE simulation support

We would like to talk to you about Asahi Kasei’s engineering plastics for water supply and drainage systems. Please contact us to ask any questions, discuss any concerns, and request samples.