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UK water laws must be acknowledged

12 September 2016

Plumbers and home owners are being advised to acknowledge UK water laws.

The water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) has highlighted the need to check UK water laws before undertaking plumbing work. UK water companies and WRAS  have emphasised the need for consent to be granted from the local water supplier.

UK water laws are in place to ensure work meets Water Supply Regulations, which are in place in order to keep drinking water supplies safe and healthy. This applies to many types of domestic and commercial plumbing and includes the building of new houses or extending business premises. Conventional everyday work like installing some types of bidets or large baths also require prior approval.

Obtaining permission means sending a notice to your local water supplier, including information relating to the proposed work. Approval takes just 10 days and is free of charge. Information regarding the type of work, the location, and the contact details of the organisation carrying out the works, is usually sufficient.

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS explained: “The UK enjoys high-quality, safe drinking water and we want to make sure it stays that way.

“Unfortunately, very few people are aware of their legal responsibilities to ensure certain types of plumbing work comply with these important regulations.

“Getting permission is quick and free, but failure to notify your local water supplier could result in extra costs to put poor plumbing right or, worse, contamination of water supplies and a court prosecution.”

The message to homeowners planning plumbing installation work is to take a few minutes to obtain professional advice from your local water supplier, WRAS, or from a WaterSafe approved plumber who is familiar with UK water laws.

Types of plumbing that requires prior notification includes:

  • Building a house or other property/structure
  • Extending or altering the water system on a non-residential building
  • Changing a buildings use
  • Installing water systems, such as rainwater harvesting
  • Types of water cleaning or water treatment units
  • Installing a swimming pool or pond over 10,000 litres
  • A garden watering system (not operated by hand)
  • A bath holding more than 230 litres of water
  • A bidet with an upward spray or flexible hose
  • A pump or booster that delivers water at a rate of more than 12 litres/min
  • A reduced pressure zone valve assembly or similar
  • Any external water systems or those below ground

Approved plumbers, like Homecure Plumbers in London, are trained to meet regulations for installing pipes and fittings which supply drinking water and can carry out some types of work without prior notification.

For more information on Water Fittings Regulations and UK water laws, visit www.wras.co.uk/notification.

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