To protect bodies of water from detrimental changes to their characteristics caused by substances that are hazardous to water emanating from facilities it is required that substances and mixtures are classified for their water-hazardous properties. 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):
- slightly hazardous to water
- obviously hazardous to water
- highly hazardous to water.
Furthermore, substances can be classified as non-hazardous to water (nwg) or are deemed hazardous to water in general (awg).
On this website, you can search for WGK of currently published WGK classifications or Download the list of classified substances.
Substances that are currently not published with a WGK classification in the Bundesanzeiger or on this website 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 Annex 1 of AwSV and to submit the WGK documentation to the Umweltbundesamt. Exemptions are for those substances that are part of a published group classification, as long as the substance's properties do not contradict the classification. These substances are already classified by the group even if they are not explicitly named. The respective identification number can be used independently for such substances. Documentation of the self-classification of these substances should not be submitted to the Federal Environment Agency. The substances listed in substance group classifications are to be understood as exemplary lists, which have mostly been adopted from previous classifications.
Further Information on the AwSV and the classification procedure can be found on the official website of the Umweltbundesamt.
For the classification of mixtures based on the classifications of the components, the carcinogenic effect and the M-factors of the components must be considered if appropriate. These can currently be found at ECHA. The WGK documentations of mixtures are to be submitted to local authorities and classifications are not published by the Umweltbundesamt.