Notification

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws require, for most types of work the designer, installer, owner or occupier to obtain the local water supplier’s consent before starting any work. This means sending to your local water supplier a Notice and other information relating to the proposed work.

Water suppliers are required by the Regulations and Byelaws not to withhold consent unreasonably, and allow consent to be granted subject to conditions, which must be followed. 

If consent is not given within the ten working days, then the Regulations and Byelaws deem the water suppliers’ consent to have been granted. This does not alter the obligation upon the, designer, installer and owner or occupier to see that the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws are fully met.

What work needs advanced notification?

It is a legal requirement to give a water supplier advanced notification of the following:

  • The erection of any new building or structure.
  • The extension or alteration of the water system in any premises except a domestic dwelling.(1) (2)
  • The material change in use of any premises.
  • The installation of:
    • A bidet with an ascending spray or flexible hose; (1) (2)
    • A bath larger than 230 litres (measured to the centre of the overflow);
    • A shower unit of a type specified by the Regulator (Note: there are none currently specified); 
    • A pump or booster drawing more than 12 litres per minute;
    • A reverse osmosis unit;
    • A water treatment unit producing a waste water discharge or using water for regeneration or cleaning;
    • A reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve (type BA device), or other mechanical device for protection against backflow in fluid category 4 or 5;
    • A garden watering system unless designed to be a hand-operated one; 
    • Any water system laid outside a building and either less than 750 mm or more than 1350 mm below ground level;
  • Construction of an automatically replenished pond or swimming pool of more than 10,000 litres. 

In Scotland and Northern Ireland, notification is also required for:

  • a WC with an ascending spray or flexible hose; (2)
  • a flexible shower hose or other flexible outlet for use in conjunction with a WC; (2)
  • a ‘shower-toilet’ or ‘bidet- toilet’ where, either as part of the WC itself or as an addition or adaptation of it, a stream of water is provided from below the spillover level of the WC pan for personal cleansing; (2)
  • a pump delivery pipe drawing water from a supply pipe;
  • greywater, recycled water, reclaimed water and rainwater harvesting systems;
  • water systems for fire fighting, including domestic sprinklers;

In Scotland only there is an additional requirement for notification of:

  • any system incorporating a private water supply.

Note:
(1) If an Approved Contractor, such as a WIAPS, TAPS, Aplus or WaterMark or SNIPEF approved plumber is used in these circumstances, the water supplier does not need advanced notification in England and Wales.
(2) If an Approved Contractor, such as a WIAPS, TAPS, Aplus, WaterMark or SNIPEF approved plumber is used in these circumstances, the water supplier does not need advanced notification in Northern Ireland.

What information should be included in the notification?

When notifying plumbing work, the following information must be sent to the local water supplier:

  • The name and address of the person giving notice and, if different, of the person to whom the consent should be sent.
  • A description of the proposed work and any related change of use of premises.
  • The location of the premises and their use or intended use.
  • Except for items below, a plan of that part of the premises which relates to the proposed work and a diagram showing the pipework and fittings to be installed.
    •  A bath larger than 230 litres (measured to the centre of the overflow);
    • A shower unit of a type specified by the Regulator (but none is currently specified); 
    • A garden watering system unless designed to be a hand-operated one; 
    • Construction of an automatically-replenished pond or swimming pool of more than 10,000 litres.
  • The plumbing contractor’s name and address, if an approved contractor, such as a WaterSafe Approved Plumbing Business is used to do the work.

What happens once I have submitted my advanced notification?

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws allow 10 working days for water suppliers to grant their consent. You should not start work until consent has been granted. A water supplier may not withhold consent unreasonably. They may however, grant consent subject to conditions, which must be followed.

If consent is not given within the ten working days, then the Regulations and Byelaws deem the water suppliers’ consent to have been granted. However, any work must still comply with the Water Fittings Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws.

For further information please read the WRAS notification leaflet