For years, plumbing & heating contractors have viewed WRAS Approval as the champion of water fittings regulations. However, is WRAS a true regulation?
Throughout the mechanical & electrical industry, it has been commonly viewed that water fittings need to meet WRAS approval to be specified and used in projects where water is being used for consumption. However, this seems to be a miscommunication within the industry.
The government set legal requirements for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of water fittings, systems, and appliances. They have been implemented to prevent drinking water contaminations and to prevent the misuse, waste and undue consumption and measurement error of water supplied by water facilities.
Promoting the efficient use of water whilst safeguarding water supply is a top priority for manufacturers of water network fittings and components. Regulatory compliance is a key part of delivering high-quality products that are fit for purpose and minimize risk.
What is WRAS Approval?
WRAS, which stands for Water Regulation Advisory Scheme, is a certification mark that demonstrates that an item or package complied with the high standards set out by water regulations. WRAS Approval is accepted by every water supplier in the UK.
For many years, consultants and specifiers of water systems have stated that fittings and components must be approved by WRAS. It is also routinely stated in project specifications to show compliance of fittings with water regulations.
However, there seems to be a misconception about WRAS approval.
It needs to be remembered that WRAS is and always has been a voluntary scheme and is not necessary for products to comply. WRAS is just one of three certification schemes available in the UK.
For water fittings or component to comply with regulations of encountering clean water supply, the minimum legal requirements sit with Regulation 4.
What is Regulation 4?
Regulation 4(1)(a) and (b) from the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
It states Regulation 4 (1)(a) "requires all water fittings supplied, or to be supplied, with water by a water undertaker to be of an appropriate quality and standard" and Regulations 4 (1)(b) states "equipment must be suitable for the circumstances in which it is used".
In addition, Regulation 4(2) provides options for companies to demonstrate compliance with their equipment. There are:
- Conforming to a specification approved by the regulator
- Conforming to an appropriate British Standard
- Conforming to some other national specification which provides an equivalent level of protection and performance
As mentioned earlier, there are three approval schemes:
- WRAS Approval Scheme
- KIWA UK Regulation 4 Product Approval Scheme (KUKreg4)
What is the correct regulation for water fittings?
All fittings and components manufactured to encounter water for consumption or hygiene use are required to metting Regulation 4. However, the three schemes; WRAS, NSFreg4 and KUKreg4 can all be used to demonstrate that fittings and components comply with the requirements of Reg4.
All schemes can provide testing and certification to Reg 4 under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
What does Brymec do for regulation?
As with many manufacturers, Brymec uses WRAS Approval, which provides testing and certification of our water fittings and components and is widely accepted by water facilities and the building services industry.
The tests provided on Brymec water components meet the requirements of Reg4 and are performed at WRAS laboratories which are ISO 17065 accredited.