First Issued in our October 2016 Newsletter

Dear Stakeholder, WRAS, the UK’s leading water regulations body, is launching a campaign this week in partnership with UK water suppliers to highlight the need for people planning plumbing work to notify their local water company. 

In many cases, work on new and existing plumbing systems needs to be notified to and approved by the local water supplier before it can begin. 

This is to make sure it meets the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Byelaws, which are designed to safeguard drinking water supplies. 

The obligation to notify doesn’t just apply to plumbers - it also includes businesses, homeowners, landlords and tenants. It includes many types of domestic and commercial plumbing – from building new houses or extending business premises to everyday work such as installing bidets or large baths. 

Unfortunately, very few people are aware of their legal responsibilities to ensure these types of plumbing work comply with the regulations, so WRAS has joined forces with the wider water industry to launch an awareness campaign. 

Information about notification is available on the WRAS website at wras.co.uk/notification, where you will also find posters and leaflets to download. 

The campaign is also supported by WaterSafe, the national accreditation scheme for plumbers. Approved plumbers have specific training in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, and are able to carry out many types of work without prior notification. 

Gaining permission for plumbing work is quick and free. However, failure to notify local water suppliers could result in extra cost to put poor plumbing right or, in the worst case scenario, contamination of water supplies and a court prosecution. 

Julie Spinks , Managing Director, WRAS 

Types of plumbing work that must be notified to water suppliers include: 

  •        Building a house or other property/structure 
  •        Extending or altering the water system on a non-household building 
  •         Changing the use of a building or installing water systems, such as rainwater harvesting Installing a swimming pool or pond over 10,000 litres 
  •         A garden watering system (unless operated by hand) 
  •         A bath which holds more than 230 litres of water
  •         A bidet with an upward spray or flexible hose
  •         A pump or booster that delivers more than 12 litres of water per minute
  •        A reverse osmosis unit (for cleaning water) 
  •       A water treatment unit which produces waste water 
  •       A reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve assembly or similar 
  •       Any water system outside a building that is either less than 750mm (0.75 metres) or more than 1350mm (1.35 metres) below ground 


This list is not exhaustive and there are extra requirements in Scotland and Northern Ireland.