KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
16th May 2019
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With we Brits being a nation of DIYers, a survey I received this week from WRAS, the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme, made me realise how little many of us really know about ensuring that what we do doesn't only look good and do the job, but that it meets legal requirements too.
WRAS reminds us that to safeguard our drinking water, UK water regulations and byelaws require - for most types of plumbing work - the designer, installer, owner or occupier to obtain their local water supplier's consent first. I had no idea about much of this myself, but having looked into it, I can certainly understand why the regulations are in place!
According to the findings, 60% of homeowners are unaware that they must inform their water company if installing specific water fixtures. For example, 62% said they didn't know whether they had to inform their water company if installing a large bath (one holding more than 230-litres) and some 60% are unaware that they're legally required to tell their water company if they're installing a bidet which features an ascending spray or flexible hose - since, if these are installed incorrectly, they risk contaminating the drinking water.
Indeed, there's a long list of plumbing works (see more at www.wras.co.uk) that must be notified in advance and the regulations apply to homeowners, businesses, landlords and tenants and to many types of domestic and commercial plumbing - from building houses or extending business premises to everyday work. Consent takes a maximum of 10 working days and costs nothing and in many cases, the water supplier will simply need a description of the planned work and the contact details of those undertaking it, so it's not too difficult or time consuming.
WRAS recommends employing a WaterSafe approved plumber who's familiar with the regulations and these words made me wonder, how many professional fitters will be switched on enough to use WRAS's information in their marketing campaigns, and how many retailers are aware enough of the regulations to be able to advise customers that they really need to know what they're doing if they're planning to fit their own kitchens and bathrooms.
15th March 2019