Posted in Water Regulations Advice and Interpretations

Water Regulations – What are they?

The current Water Regulations came into force on 1st July 1999 in England and Wales. In Scotland, the Byelaws 2000 are technically identical. The Regulations are property of the government and are law.

The Regulations consist of:
The actual “Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (1999)”
Schedules 1, 2 & 3
Government Guidance (G-Clauses)
Water Industry Clauses (R-Clauses)

The Regulations are in place to prevent waste, misuse, undue consumption, the erroneous measurement and contamination of water.
As manufacturers of Backflow Prevention devices, we are primarily concerned with contamination.

The concept of ‘fluid risk’ is central to backflow prevention.
Schedule 1 consists of five fluid categories each of which defines a level of risk.
Fluid Category 1 – Wholesome Drinking Water.
Fluid Category 2 – Change in the aesthetic quality.
Fluid Category 3 – Represents a slight health hazard.
Fluid Category 4 – Represents a significant health hazard.
Fluid Category 5 – Represents a serious health hazard.

Applications – where does this apply?

Many water fittings are at risk of backflow protection – but it’s the use of the water that determines the level of protection that you’ll need.
Some examples are listed below.

Hose Union Taps
Domestic House Gardens and similar applications are Fluid Category 3, whereas all commercial Hose Union Taps by default are Fluid Category 5.
The Water Authorities adopt a Risk Assessment Based Approach to this – and can downgrade if the application is deemed to pose less of a risk.

Clothes & Dish-washing
Domestic washers are classed as Fluid Category 3 due to the soaps and powders used. The items being washed in a domestic setting aren’t deemed to pose any significant or serious health hazard.
Washers used in non-house applications such as hotels, restaurants and high street launderettes would class as Fluid Category 4.
Further to this, washers used in Health Care Applications – such as Nursing Homes, and Veterinary Practices are deemed to be Fluid Category 5.

There are Water Fittings in the bathroom that also require backflow protection.
Bidets with submersible hoses pose the highest risk and need Fluid Category 5 protection.
Showers with submersible hoses also need protection. In a domestic situation – the risk is Fluid Category 3. However, in a health care setting, this risk is deemed to be Fluid Category 5.

These examples show that it is the use, not the type of fitting that determines the what level of protection required. If in doubt, always check with the relevant water company.

Solutions – we’ve got them – whatever the risk!

Here at Arrow Valves our purpose is protecting the public from illness and potential death via contaminated water through product innovation.

Fluid Category 1 – requires no protection.

Fluid Category 2 – Single Check – EA/EB (for example model EA453 – pictured. Applications include whole site zone protection, and risers).

Fluid Category 3 – Double Check – EC/ED (for example model ED20FM235 – designed for washing machines and dishwashers between valve and hose inlet).

Fluid Category 4 – Pipe Interrupter Type DB OR RPZ Valve – BA (pictured – a large range of different RPZ Valve Assemblies are available).

Fluid Category 5 – Pipe Interrupter Type DC OR an Air Gap – Type AA or AB. Our range of Break Tank and Booster sets (pictured – model BTMIDI) all come with an integral break tank with an AB Air Gap.

More Information…
We have a comprehensive range of Water Regulations Tutorials available for download here. These cover all this and more.
As well as this, all of our backflow prevention devices are available to view online.
We offer Free of Charge seminars on the Subject of the Water Regulations. These are presented by our Technical Director, Adrian Reeve, who has over 10 years’ experience in the Water Industry. Contact us for further details.