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Water fittings and regulations

What are Water Regulations?

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations are the laws which cover the plumbing, fittings and water-using appliances inside and outside your homes and businesses.

This includes the pipes carrying drinking water to kitchens and bathrooms, outside taps, washing machines and dishwashers and the underground pipe outside your property to the point where it connects with our public water supply.

These regulations are designed to protect the public water supply from contamination, maintain water quality in your properties and promote the efficient use of water.

It’s our job to enforce these regulations and to explain your responsibilities.

How do Regulations affect you?

If you own or live in a property or you install or maintain plumbing systems and water fittings you have a legal duty to meet the requirements of the regulations.

Architects, developers, plumbers and builders also have a responsibility to ensure the requirements are met for the future owners or occupiers of buildings.

It’s a criminal offence to contravene the regulations and offenders may face prosecution.

It’s important you understand the water regulations to:

  • keep you and your family, neighbours and employees safe from contaminated drinking water
  • protect you from criminal prosecution and potentially substantial fines.

The regulations don’t apply to premises not connected to the public water supply.

Giving advance notice of plumbing work

As part of the regulations, you must let us know in advance if you are planning certain types of plumbing work or are installing a new water system.

This is required of the property owner, occupier, plumber, builder or developer.

You can do this by submitting a Water Regulations Advance Notification Form to our team.

However, in many cases, if the work is a carried out by an approved plumber you won’t have to give this advance notification and the plumber will be able to provide you and us with a ‘compliance certificate’.

A full list of plumbing work which needs prior approval can be found here.

*We cannot unreasonably withhold consent for your work but it may be granted subject to conditions, which must be followed. If you do not hear from us within 10 working days, consent is deemed to have been given and you can go ahead. This doesn’t alter your obligation to ensure the work complies with the regulations.

Where to find out more

If you would like to talk to one of our team of experts then call our Customer Helpline on 03457 440 088 or email our Regulations Team at waterregulations[AT]niwater[DOT]com

For more information please refer to Water Regs UK by visiting

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
Download PDF – 231 kB

The Water Fittings Regulations Explained
Download PDF – 700 kB

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Enforcement Policy
Download PDF – 283 kB

Water Regulations Notification Form
Download MS Word – 39 kB

Looking After Water in Your Home – A Consumers Guide
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Plumbing and the law
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Guidance Notes
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Type BA backflow prevention device
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