WRAS Approval: What is it, and why is it important?
What does WRAS mean?
WRAS is an acronym for Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. Despite WRAS being incorporated in 2008 Water Companies have for over 100 years been working with individuals and organisations to help them comply with byelaws and water fittings regulations.
WRAS approval allows the installation of products that carry or receive water from the public mains water supply in the UK to fully comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Byelaws. These regulations require that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply and must be ‘of an appropriate quality and standard’.
As WRAS approval is granted directly by representatives of the water suppliers, it is the easiest way to demonstrate compliance with these regulations.
Why is it important?
A product made from unsuitable materials can contaminate water by dissolving metals or encouraging growth of bacteria which can cause an unpleasant taste or odour or ill health. A product which contaminates the water would not comply with water supply regulations, and therefore would not be legal to install.
What is a WRAS approved product?
A WRAS approved product has undertaken a series of exhaustive independent tests to qualify that it is suitable to carry or receive water from the public mains water supply in the UK and complies with the Water Supply Regulations*.
Products such as a clean water combined tank and booster set could be made of a number of WRAS approved components which when assembled may not comply with the relevant regulations, examples being an incorrectly sized air gap or using a non-WRAS approved jointing compound/adhesive.
It is easy to check if a product has been approved by simply verifying the listing on the WRAS website
How do I check WRAS approval?
The WRAS product directory is the best place to check approval.
On the Dutypoint website, you can click on the WRAS logo under each product to view the WRAS approval details.
What two things does WRAS do?
The role of WRAS is to assist the protection of public health by preventing contamination of public water supplies, whilst also fostering the efficient use of water by promoting and facilitating compliance with the Water Supply Regulations*.
How do I get WRAS approval?
Products which require WRAS approval have to go through a rigorous process in which each of the materials present in the product must be tested in a laboratory to check they are suitable to come in contact with potable water. Where applicable, testing would also include checking that the product has a suitable mechanism to prevent backflow and that the device does not waste water.
A product made from unsuitable materials can contaminate water by dissolving metals or encouraging growth of bacteria which can cause an unpleasant taste or odour, or ill health. A product which contaminates the water would not comply with water supply regulations, and therefore would not be legal to install.
Applications which are awarded WRAS approval receive a certificate to verify that the product has been approved, and is given a unique number and listing on the WRAS website. The certification lasts five years, at which point the equipment must be re-tested, with all the checks carried out again as per the original test.
Equivalent approvals can be awarded by other test houses such as KIWA UK and NSF, who will certify a product complies with the Water Supply Regulations*.
* The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 and The Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014.