FEA clear up water regulation confusion

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Providing operators or suppliers can show that appliances and connections meet regulations, then a system is legal, whether WRAS-approved or not

The UK’s Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA), which was formerly known as the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA), has raised concerns about ongoing confusion in the foodservice equipment industry regarding regulations pertaining to connecting appliances to the mains water supply.

To that effect, FEA has released a statement acknowledging that, while it is true appliances must adhere to regulations, it is not the case that they have be WRAS (The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)- certified before they can be connected to the mains in the UK.

“It’s not uncommon for water inspectors to say, ‘if it’s not WRAS approved it cannot be connected’ – and that simply is not the case,” says Nick Oryino, chair of FEA’s technical liaison forum.

“Providing the operator or supplier can show that the appliance and its connections meet the relevant regulations, then the system is legal, whether or not it is WRAS-approved.”

Regulatory compliance

According to FEA, the various water fittings regulations that must be met by foodservice appliances in the UK are The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999; The Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014; and The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009.

“Compliance with the regulations is absolutely vital,” says Oryino. “If there is a danger to public health from the installation, or a product does not meet the requirements of the Water Fittings regulations, then the responsibility lies with the site owner of the premises where the equipment is in use.”

Of course, getting third-party accreditation, such as WRAS approval or NSF Reg 4 scheme certification, is a positive thing in terms of demonstrating compliance, says the FEA. “However, sometimes the issue of WRAS approval can be exacerbated by the time the process of getting certification takes,” adds Oryino.

“That’s another reason why FEA has decided it’s time to clarify the facts, so that foodservice operators and equipment suppliers aren’t wasting time and effort unnecessarily,” he says.

Further details:

Contact the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) at www.fea.org.uk.