Use an Approved Plumber to Avoid Problems with Drinking Water

WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, is calling on households and businesses in Wales to check their plumber is qualified to keep their drinking water safe.

The call comes after the annual report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) has highlighted instances where poor plumbing resulted in taste and smell problems in household water systems.

The water supplied by water companies Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) and Hafren Dyfrdwy in Wales is excellent quality, with the most recent published results showing the majority of tests (over 99.9%) complied with stringent standards.

However, when it leaves the water company pipes and crosses the boundary into gardens, homes and businesses, poor plumbing, which is the responsibility of the property owner, can cause problems.

The report highlights two cases where households experienced taste and smell problems with their water, as no check valves has been installed on pipes which supplied both the washing machine and drinking water tap, which meant water could flow between the two.

In previous reports, cases have been highlighted where stale water ‘flowed back’ into drinking water – causing an unpleasant taste – due to a lack of a check valve on pipes connecting a toilet cistern with a tap and separately between a washing machine and a broken tap.

Julie Spinks, of WaterSafe, said: “Wales enjoys top quality drinking water, which is among the best in the world, but many people don’t realise that sometimes poor internal plumbing can affect its quality and freshness.

“These examples reported by customers or found during water companies routine tests at customer taps, shows how easily this can happen – just because a simple check valve was not installed.

“For this reason, we’d always recommend employing a plumber approved by WaterSafe who is listed on our online register and supported by Dwr Cymru and Hafren Dyfrdwy.

“That way you can be confident they are fully trained in the Water Supply (Fittings) Regulations which are designed to keep our tap water safe and healthy.”

Marcus Rink, The Chief Inspector of Drinking Water for Wales, added: “These issues are often caused by something that is simple to rectify, however, using a WaterSafe approved plumber means it’s most likely to be right first time.”

To find your nearest WaterSafe approved plumber, enter your postcode in the postcode search to the right of this page or call 0333 207 9030.

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