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To WRAS or Not to WRAS – There is No Question

Why you must make sure that your drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations are WRAS approved.

Did you know that there is a legal requirement for all drinking fountains used in the UK to comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws? And yet many water cooler companies sell units that have not been tested. The problem is, that the onus isn’t on the retailer to sell quality products, but on the purchaser to buy them. And that can lead to serious headaches and complications, especially when dealing with imported goods.

The easiest way to ensure that your equipment is compliant, is to look for the WRAS stamp of approval.

Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering what WRAS is. The acronym stands for Water Regulation Advisory Scheme. And the purpose of the scheme is to ensure that drinking water products provide water that is fit for human consumption. So, materials used contain no toxicity, components aren’t going to degrade and contaminate water, and the units themselves aren’t going to fall apart, leaving drinkers with a mouthful of peeling paint – or worse.

In short, then, WRAS approval is a very good thing. The fact that some companies sell water products that haven’t been WRAS-approved, isn’t.

Wras Approved Elkay Bottle Refill StationMIW works solely with WRAS-approved drinking fountains, and we have done for some time now. Our leading water cooler/drinking fountain provider, Elkay, even went so far as to invest two years and US$180,000 to ensure that every one of their products met with WRAS specifications for the UK market. That’s how important it is.  And for MIW, it’s not just important because there are legal requirements – as I said at the start, we’re not legally obliged to sell compliant units – but because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t want anyone to get ill from using the products that we sell. We feel a duty of care. We don’t want our customers to feel duped into substandard purchases – we’ll never take your money and run. And we want the drinking fountains, sports bottle refill stations and coolers that we provide you with to be a lasting and worthwhile investment for you and your company.

It’s tempting, sometimes, to try to cut corners in the name of budgeting. Sadly, the reality is that in most cases non-WRAS certified units won’t save you that much upfront and will likely cost you much more in the long term – when you have to get them replaced. Water supply companies, such as Thames Water, are essentially the Government’s policing force for this matter. They have been known to ask for non-compliant equipment to be removed if suitability cannot be proven.

For MIW Water Cooler Experts, working with WRAS-approved products is the best way to ensure customer satisfaction, but if you need any more advice, guidance or support in making sure that your business adheres to Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws, we’re always here to help.