Wras uncovers ignorance over water compliance responsibilities

There is a lack of knowledge on who is legally responsible for ensuring installed products comply with water fitting regulations, says Wras.

And anyone found fitting non-compliant products could risk facing legal action or fines.

The Water Regulations Approval Scheme (Wras) conducted a survey of 500 adults responsible for water systems in non-household premises to assess the level of industry knowledge of compliance.

The survey showed that while three-quarters of respondents knew plumbing products connected to a public water supply must be tested to make sure they comply with standards and are of suitable quality, far fewer knew who was responsible for making sure those standards are met.

Just over a quarter 26% thought it is down to installers to check compliance, more than a third (35%) thought facilities managers are responsible, while a quarter believed the onus lies with tenants, occupiers or building owners.

Wras points out that it is in fact all of those groups that have a responsibility to make sure installed products are compliant. It added that while it is not illegal to sell non-compliant products, it is illegal to connect them to a public water supply, and doing so could result in legal action or fines.

Said Wras approvals manager Ian Hughes: “Why take a gamble on a product that hasn’t been tested to show compliance? Plumbing products or fittings that do not comply with the water regulations or byelaws may pose a risk to health, as they can contaminate drinking water, or may leak, causing damage to property.

“If they are not compliant, these products cannot be used. If they are used, the subsequent remedial work can delay projects and mean unforeseen costs. In some instances, it could even lead to legal action and fines.”

Almost three-quarters of those who responded to the survey said they were aware of Wras, while just over two-thirds (67%) said they would trust a product that displayed a Wras logo.

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