Today, an estimated one billion people across the globe live without safe water supplies, 2.6 billion don’t have access to basic sanitation, and over three million children die each year as a result of preventable water-borne diseases. While the Water Supply Regulations help to ensure the safe and efficient supply of water across the UK, the use of professional plumbing parts, properly installed and maintained is crucial to upholding these standards. That’s where WRAS comes in.
What are the Water Supply Regulations?
The Water Supply Regulations encompass both The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. The regulations set out the legal requirements for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings, and water-using appliances.
Applicable to all premises provided with water by a public supplier (otherwise known as a water undertaker) since mid-1999, the legalisation helps prevent the contamination of drinking water, as well as stopping its misuse and waste. The regulations apply from the instant water enters a property’s underground service pipe, to the point the water is used.
What is WRAS?
The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) is an advisory board established and funded by the UK’s water suppliers to promote compliance with the Water Supply Regulations.
As well as interpreting the legislation, WRAS also administers an approved plumber’s scheme. In addition, it provides a conformance mark that proves that a particular plumbing part or material complies with the standards set out by the regulations (as long as correctly installed).
WRAS approval is a quality standard, accepted by every water supplier in the UK.
It is not illegal to install a product that is not WRAS approved, however, compliance with the Water Supply Regulations may still need to be proved. In addition, while is not illegal to sell an unsuitable fitting, it is to install one. It is the responsibility of the installer to comply with the regulations and met their legal requirements.
The water regulations fall under the responsibility of different parliaments across the UK. If you’d like more information on the legal requirements placed on installers you can access a full list of these regulations and byelaws here.
The growing importance of water efficiency
Health issues aside, water efficiency concerns due to climate change and a growing population mean that demand for WRAS approved products is increasing. As well as dealing with the quality of the UK’s water supply, the Water Supply Regulations also stop the unnecessary ‘waste’ of water. WRAS approved products, when correctly fitted and used, help to prevent leaks and ensure a robust plumbing system that stands the test of time.
WRAS approved products from Westco
Committed to playing our part, at Westco we’ve made it our mission to ensure the products we supply have attained the highest levels of industry accreditation.
Safe, energy efficient and fit for purpose, our ever-growing range of over 5,500 product lines includes a wide selection of WRAS approved fixtures and fittings; providing total peace of mind for you and your customers.