Substances hazardous to waters

Substances hazardous to waters

Substances and mixtures can pose a hazard to water bodies. To protect the water bodies from detrimental changes to their characteristics it is required that substances and mixtures that are handled or stored in facilities in Germany are classified for their water-hazardous properties.

Classification of substances hazardous to waters

Classification is carried out on the basis of the Ordinance on facilities for handling substances that are hazardous to water (Verordnung über Anlagen zum Umgang mit wassergefährdenden Stoffen (AwSV)) of 18 April 2017 (BGBl 2017, Teil I, Nr. 22, Seite 905).
There are three water hazard classes (WGK):

1: slightly hazardous to water,
2: obviously hazardous to water
3: highly hazardous to water.

Furthermore, substances can be classified as non-hazardous to water (nwg) or are deemed hazardous to water in general (awg).
You can search for WGK of currently published WGK classifications at the Rigoletto web data base.
Substances without a published  WGK classification in neither the Bundesanzeiger nor on the Rigoletto data base  must be regarded as highly hazardous to water (WGK 3) for reasons of precaution. Facility operators are obliged to self-classify these substances according to the provisions laid down in Appendix 1 of AwSV and to submit the WGK documentation according to Appendix 2 Number 1 of the AwSV to the Umweltbundesamt. An editable form of the documentation sheet according to Appendix 2 number 1 of the AwSV is provided as “Formblatt 1: Stoffe” in the Documents. Signed documentation forms for substances are to be addressed to

Fachgebiet IV 2.6
Wassergefährdende Stoffe
Schichauweg 58
12307 Berlin

or: WGK [at] uba [dot] de

Please note that the WGK classifications of mixtures are not submitted to the Umweltbundesamt. These classifications have to be documented according to Appendix 2 Number 2 or 3 of the AwSV and have to be made available to the local authorities on request. Editable forms for the documentation of mixtures according to Appendix 2 Number 2 of the AwSV (Formblatt 2: Gemische) and for solid non-hazardous mixtures according to Appendix 2 Number 3 (Formblatt 3: feste nwg Gemische) can also be downloaded from the documents.
As WGK classification is a national legislation the official language for the administrative procedure is German. Therefore the supporting documents are provided in German language only.
As makeshift solution, an English version of the notification draft of the AwSV from 2015 is available on the European Comission website and may also be downloaded from our documents list (AwSV (English draft 2015)).
For the time being the responsible ministry (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, BMUB) had not provided any further official translation of the AwSV. However, those parts of the AwSV relevant for WGK classification (Chapter 2 and Appendix 1 and 2) did not change compared to the notification draft.


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