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Anyone who is planning most types of plumbing work must inform their local water supplier, and gain approval, before they start. The need to notify water suppliers of plumbing work extends to homeowners, landlords, tenants, developers, building managers and plumbers.
Not everyone is aware of the regulations, however, they are in place to ensure the plumbing meets the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws which are designed to keep drinking water supplies safe and healthy.
The regulations apply to many types of domestic and commercial plumbing – from building new houses or extending business premises to everyday work such as installing certain types of bidets or large baths.
Types of plumbing work that must be notified to water suppliers include:
In Northern Ireland and Scotland, notification is also required for:
In Scotland, there is an additional requirement for notification of any system incorporating a private water supply.
In many cases, the water supplier will simply need a description, diagram and plan of the work, the contact details of who is authorising it and the plumber’s name and address if an approved plumber is being used. More details can be found on the WRAS website.
If you use a WaterSafe approved plumber, they are able to carry out some types of work without notification. This is because they have specific training in the strict regulations required to install pipes and fittings to supply drinking water.
Getting permission is quick and free, but failure to notify your water supplier could result in extra costs to put poor plumbing right or, worse, contamination of water supplies and a court prosecution.