The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws, play an important role in protecting public health, safeguarding water supplies and promoting the efficient use of water within customers’ premises across the UK.
They set legal requirements for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances. They have a specific purpose to prevent misuse, waste, undue consumption or erroneous measurement of water and, most importantly, to prevent contamination of drinking water.
BUT… did you know they are not retrospective. In other words provided that the plumbing system, water fitting or water-using appliance was lawfully installed under the previous Water Supply Byelaws. Where fittings were lawfully installed, the current water fittings regulations and byelaws cannot be used to require changes to be made.
However, if the water supplier considers that there is a significant risk of water being contaminated or wasted by these fittings (even if they complied with Water Supply Byelaws in force at the time they were installed) the water supplier can insist on improvements.
The reason this is important is that prior to 1999 it was not a requirement that the cistern should be covered with a “rigid, close ﬁtting and securely ﬁxed cover which is not airtight but which excludes light and insects from the cistern.
Consequently if you are a risk assessor reading this, or if you are a Duty holder reading your risk assessment bear this in mind if the building was built prior to 1999. The only caveat is that if it is considered that the water is at significant risk then this can be overridden.
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