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On the 1st July 1999 the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 were introduced. The following is designed to give an overview of the changes made from the “Water Supply Byelaws Guide” to the Water Supply Regulations 1999 (“Water Regulations”).
An important consideration of the Regulations is backflow prevention. Although not made retrospective it appears, according to some lawyers, that statutory instrument No. 1148 does have this effect and this being the case, they need to be implemented now rather than later.
As far as water storage tanks are concerned, the current Regulations do not impose any technical changes to the manufacture, construction or installation from the old Water Byelaws (now withdrawn). In essence, any water storage tank remains precisely the same and is still covered by the appropriate British Standards as detailed below:
There is, however, a change to the way “Specifications” are drawn-up as tanks to ‘Byelaw 30’ are no longer appropriate. From 1st July 1999, all tanks had to comply with Schedule 2, Schedule 7, Paragraph 16 of the Water Regulations or where necessary Section 30. In practice, conformity to the appropriate British Standard (as listed above) is a requirement.
Under the old Water Byelaws, air gap requirements were relatively simple. The Regulations that have replaced them have introduced an increase in the number and type of air gaps. In addition, various new mechanical devices have been introduced, although some of these will be expensive and also introduce a maintenance requirement. All overflows, warning pipes and other fittings and fixtures within a tank remain the same as the Byelaws although a much greater emphasis is placed on the type of materials that may be used, with particular regard to the effect on water quality when using a mix of different types of metals when immersed i.e. connections, tie rods and other fixtures and fittings.
Inlets to all cisterns should be provided with a servicing valve to facilitate maintenance, and a float valve or some other no less effective device that is capable of controlling the flow of water into the cistern.
A solenoid valve responding to a level switch will be acceptable as a no less effective device to a float operated valve. In the past, some systems discharged water via an open ended pipe when the supply and water level within the tank was controlled electrically. This was generally associated with boosted water systems.
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