Being qualified in the water regulations is crucial for any plumber who wants to become a WaterSafe approved contractor.
Known as the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Water Byelaws in Scotland, they protect public drinking water supplies in homes and businesses from contamination or waste.
This is essential, as while 99.7% of drinking water supplied to homes in England and Wales last year met stringent quality standards, more than a third of the tests which failed were caused by poor plumbing.
Here, we speak to one of the providers of water regulations training for Welsh plumbers and contractors – Glayne Roberts from Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.
My name is Glayne, I’m a Water Regulations Technician at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and part of my role is to deliver training to plumbers and other key stakeholders on the Water Supply (Water Fittings) regulations.
Candidates range from installers at local health boards, college apprentices and environmental health officers, as well as a variety of plumbers from independent traders and small businesses through to those employed with national mechanical contractors handling multi-million-pound developments.
Our one-day course is free of charge and was developed in conjunction with WaterRegsUK who support water companies to enforce the water regulations and operate the Water Industry Approved Plumbing Scheme, one of the six Approved Contractor schemes which make up WaterSafe.
The course covers all things water regulations, from the general legislation and notification requirements, through to in-depth topics such as fluid categories, backflow protection and plumbing system design requirements.
We bring the session to life with activities, quizzes and points for group discussion as well as having props - such as cut outs of fittings – which are handy in explaining backflow prevention devices and how they are tested and operated.
Our main objective is to increase the amount of WaterSafe plumbers available to our customers throughout our service area, to help keep water quality high and help keep people safe from rogue plumbers who may not carry out work to the high standard we expect.
We previously found while most installers we worked with had the necessary qualifications and insurance for WaterSafe membership, they lacked the necessary water regulations certificate.
So, to help drive up the numbers, we’ve developed this free water regulations course to help them qualify as an Approved Contractor.
As 2023 draws to a close, we have delivered 15 sessions to 136 candidates, all over Wales.
These sessions have been invaluable in engaging with those at the forefront of plumbing and installations within our supply area.
It’s also been beneficial to hear what installers experience on a daily basis, and for us to help them make sure they are following the relevant legislation to keep drinking water wholesome.
Having been in the water industry for less than five years, I still feel I am learning so much every day, but I really enjoy delivering this training and seeing the difference it makes to plumbers, and customers, supplied by Welsh Water.
We are now in process of planning for sessions in 2024.
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