BSI Release New British Standard for Water Safety Planning

June 2020


BSI has released a new British Standard for Water Safety Planning; BS 8680:2020.  

The standard can be purchased here: 

This standard may be of specific use to LCA members who work with or develop water safety plans and general use for all interested in a holistic approach to water safety.

The LCA supports the launch of this new British Standard and the launch Webinar in July.  Please follow this link if you would like to register for the free Webinar:

What is BS 8680:2020 about?

It’s often thought water systems in buildings are safe when connected to public supplies – but this ignores the potential for contamination (both chemical and microbial) and the growth of waterborne opportunistic pathogens within building water systems. BS 8680:2020 sets out guidance and recommendations for developing a Water Safety Plan (WSP) for building water systems.

Who is BS 8680:2020 for?

Intended users include all of those involved in ensuring water is safe and fit for purpose at the point of use, including those responsible for:

  • Design and specification
  • Construction and installation
  • Commissioning
  • Maintenance
  • Operation
  • Alteration and refurbishment
  • Deconstruction

Why should you use BS 8680:2020?

This brand new British Standard gives recommendations and guidance on the development of a Water Safety Plan (WSP). The standard is intended to be used as a code of practice to demonstrate current good practice and compliance.

Poor design and management of water systems in buildings can cause outbreaks of disease. WSPs are the most effective means of consistently ensuring the safety of water supplies through a comprehensive risk-management approach. This is based on identifying all significant risks to public health, ensuring that effective controls and barriers are applied to minimize these risks to acceptable levels, and monitoring the operation of the controls and barriers to ensure that safety is maintained.

The Water Safety Plan is a critical foundation for effective risk management and control for all types of hazards including: biological, chemical, physical and radiological.  The Water Safety Plan would also be very useful for those auditing and inspecting premises. This will assist Water Safety Groups and others responsible for health and safety to ensure there is a holistic approach to water safety across all types of systems and equipment which use or contain water.

The standard applies to all types of premises and undertakings with water systems that can pose a risk to those exposed, either from the water itself or aerosols derived from it, and where a WSP is particularly recommended within existing national guidance, such as in healthcare.

It applies to:

-WSP development for new buildings

-Modifications and renovations to existing water systems

-Retrospective applications to control risks to health from all types of water use

NOTE: This British Standard does not give recommendations for the development of WSPs for regulated drinking water supplies from either a public or private supply, as these are covered in national water quality regulations. For risk assessment for Legionella or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, see BS 8580.

BS 8680:2020 contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. It also supports Goal 6 on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.