Water Fittings Regulations

These Regulations were introduced in 1999 and replaced individual Company Byelaws. They are national standards for the design, installation and maintenance of plumbing systems. They are designed to protect consumers against poor water quality, unnecessary waste, misuse and contamination of drinking water supplies.

Water Companies are legally responsible for enforcing the Regulations by carrying out inspections of new and some existing installations. Additional guidance is available from the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme.

Where do they apply?

To all plumbing systems, water fittings and equipment supplied, or to be supplied, with water from the mains water supply. This applies to all types of premises, from the point where the water enters the property's underground service pipe.

Who has to comply with them?

Owners and occupiers of premises, and anyone who installs plumbing systems or water fittings, have a legal duty to ensure they comply.

Protecting water supplies

Where water from the mains supply could come into contact with materials which could contaminate the water, there must be adequate protection to stop backflow to other parts of the system, especially drinking water points. Backflow can occur if there is a drop in pressure of the mains supply, for example, if a water main supplying the property has burst.

Notification requirements

Notification is required prior to the erection of a new building or structure, or if there is a material change of use in a premises, as well as a range of other situations, as listed in the table on our notification form.

If the work is to be carried out by an Approved Contractor under WaterSafe, notification is not required, but on completion a certificate should be sent to our Network Services team at Network_Services@waterplc.com.