Water Supply Industry Interpretations and Advice

  • Area of Interest : Enforcement
  • Topic : Scope of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations/Byelaws
  • Title : Contractor's liability
  • Clause Reference : Regulation 2(1)
  • Reference Number : E02
  • Decision Date : June 2011(revised November 2016)

Whilst a plumber or contractor cannot be held responsible for any infringement in plumbing work carried out previously by others, water suppliers would expect them to report any they notice to the person who is responsible for those premises and to advise that the infringement be corrected. The owner or occupier of the premises who is responsible for the fittings could be committing a criminal offence under  S73 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland,  if the fittings are causing or likely to cause the waste, misuse, undue consumption and contamination of mains water.

Water suppliers wish to stress that omission by plumbers and contractors to report serious legacy infringements to customers could cause risks to human health. It is their very firm advice in such cases that such infringements should be reported both to the responsible owner or occupier as well as the water supplier in order to ensure that the matter is properly investigated and rectified. This will help to reduce any risk of personal injury caused by contaminated water.