Spotlight on the Certificate of Sanitary Conformity (ACS)

What is the Certificate of Sanitary Conformity (ACS)?

The ACS is an official French approval granted by a laboratory that has tested the product in question for compliance with a view to using it for distributing drinking water.

As of 24 December 2006, all new materials must have a Certificate of Sanitary Conformity to comply with the decree of 29 May 1997, as amended, and the Ministry of Health circulars DGS/VS4 No. 99/217 of 12 April 1999 and DGS/VS4 No. 2000/232 of 27 April 2000, proving that they are of the requisite quality to carry water for human consumption.

ACSs have an expiry date ranging from 1 to 5 years.

Since that date, construction companies, operators of drinking water treatment plants and drinking water storage and transport facilities have been bound to check with their suppliers that the materials, equipment and preparations supplied to them comply with the regulations by requiring that the relevant Certificates of Sanitary Conformity be provided for all the products they purchase and install.

The owners of buildings open to the public are responsible for the compliance and good upkeep of their water systems and the quality of the water distributed to consumers downstream of their water meter.

To be in compliance, operators and owners are obliged to request a Certificate of Sanitary Conformity for all equipment that comes into contact with the water in distribution networks intended for human consumption.

ACSs can only be issued by laboratories approved by the Ministry of Health.

They are issued on completion of a battery of tests designed to ensure that no compounds find their way into the water.

Such migration could cause the organoleptic properties to mutate and/or toxic compounds to develop, thereby making the transported water unfit for human consumption.

All the materials used to manufacture polyethylene tubes intended for distributing drinking water comply with the tests performed and therefore have valid Certificates of Sanitary Conformity. Using polyethylene pipes ensures that no compound mutation or migration affects the organoleptic quality of the water being distributed, either in the short term or in the long term.

The official French government health website,, provides a list of approved laboratories and ACSs that are currently valid.

Organoleptic substances are substances that are absorbed by mouth and can interact with sensory receptors


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