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So What are the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws For a Wras Water Regulations Qualified Plumber?
The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water 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.
Where do they apply?
These Regulations and Byelaws apply in all types of premises supplied, or to be supplied with water by a water company (the legal term for a water company is water undertaker).
They apply from the point where water enters the property’s underground pipe (usually at the stop tap at the property boundary), to where the water is used in plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances.
These regulations do not apply where a property uses a private water supply and does not have a supply of water from a water company. If a top up supply, from a water company, is in place full regulations/byelaws would apply
Where can I get a copy of them or seek further advice?
Water law is one area that is the responsibility of national parliaments. This means there are separate regulations and byelaws applying in each country within the UK.
Regulations and Byelaws
Copies of the Water Fittings Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws including their schedules are available from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) part of The National Archives, and Scottish Water using the following links.
England and Wales - Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 1148 which has been amended under subsequent legislation.
S.I.1999 No. 1148 – The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
Amended under the following legislation:
S.I.1999 No.1506 – The Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Amendment) Regulations 1999
S.I.2005 No. 2035 – The Water Act 2003 (Consequential and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2005
S.I.2013 No.1387 – The Construction Products Regulations 2013
The Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014
Northern Ireland – Statutory Rules 2009 No.255
S.R. 2009 No.255 - The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
The English Government (Defra) also published on the internet a guidance document relating to Schedules 1 and 2 of the regulations for use in England and Wales. However this guidance is recognised across the UK and is available using the following link.
Defra guidance to the regulations - Please note this link is to the archived versions of the Defra website but the documents are still current.
The “Water Regulations Guide” includes the text of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and Scottish Water Byelaws 2000. It also includes detailed Water Industry guidance and interpretations. We also provide other publications, most of which are free to download. In addition we also provide an enquiry service for general queries on these regulations and byelaws, for further information or advice contact us.
Water Suppliers do not provide a design service for installations, but they will try to answer individual queries from customers, designers, builders and installers about the interpretation of the regulations or byelaws.
Are they retrospective?
No, 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 legal provisions within the Water Industry Act 1991, Water (Scotland) Act 1980 or The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, allow water suppliers to require necessary improvements to be made.
Who has to comply with them?
A legal duty is placed on all users, owners or occupiers and anyone who installs plumbing systems or water fittings and water-using appliances to ensure they are installed and used in accordance with these regulations and byelaws.
Advanced notice must be given of proposed installations in specific cases, so architects, building developers and plumbers have to follow these regulations and byelaws on behalf of future owners or occupiers.
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