Water fittings regulations

In order to protect your water supply from contamination, it is important that the fixtures and fittings through which that water travels, are correctly installed and in a good state of repair. There are national requirements for the design, materials, installation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances known as The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

These regulations were set to: protect your drinking water supply from contamination, prevent inefficient use and waste of water and ensure water is correctly measured when used. The Regulations apply in England and Wales to all plumbing systems, water fittings and equipment supplied, or to be supplied, with water from the public water supply. This applies to plumbing systems in all types of premises.

  • RPZs protect your drinking water supply against fluid category four risks which are chemicals or contaminants that could cause a health hazard (e.g. pesticides or biological organisms).

    You can find a copy of the WaterRegsUK Aproved Installation Method (AIM) for RPZs here. This explains the installation, maintenance and testing of RPZ valves, as well training requirements for the tester.

    If you want to install an RPZ valve you need to complete the ‘application form’ and submit it to RPZ@uuplc.co.uk.

  • If you are a plumber/contractor or carrying out work you should obtain a set of the regulations, amendments and the guidance documents from HMSO or a Water Regulations Guide from WaterRegsUK and ensure that you carry out work according to these regulations.

    If you are having work carried out on your behalf you should ensure that the person or company you employ is aware of the regulations and any plumbing work you have done is carried out in accordance with them. One way of achieving this is to employ a WaterSafe Approved Plumber who will be familiar with the regulations, be sure that you receive a certificate for the work carried out.

    Plumbing fittings 
    It is not illegal to sell unsuitable fittings and appliances but to install one would be illegal, so check suitability before purchase. The regulations detail standards for suitability and the Water Fittings and Materials Directory, published by the WRAS, gives up-to-date details of a wide range of items which have been tested and proved to comply, when installed correctly, and can be accessed from their website.

  • United Utilities, like all water companies have a legal obligation to enforce the Regulations in their area of supply. We do this by carrying out compliance inspections of plumbing installations, both new and old, that receive a water supply from us.  We want all of our customers to be safe and confident with the water they use, so where we identify things aren’t quite right we will issue a notice, explaining what you need to do to put things right, and how long you have got, to get the work done.

    In the most serious of cases we can legally disconnect water supplies to protect public health. It is actually a criminal offence to breach the regulations and offenders may face prosecution.

    You can find a copy of the company's Enforecement and Prosecution Policy here.