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WRAS in a Nutshell

MIW specialises in WRAS-approved drinking solutions… Which possibly/probably sounds a bit pretentious. But, once you’ve substituted ‘drinking solutions’ for water coolers, drinking fountains and sports bottle refill stations, and firmly grasped what WRAS is, you begin to realise what a jolly good thing this is.

So, let me acquaint you with WRAS.

WRAS is an organisation set up to test products that will be connected to the UK water mains. Its remit is to make sure that all products that pass through the testing facility are compliant with the 1999 Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws.

The regulations are fairly simple, really. The Government, bless them, don’t want you to inadvertently (or deliberately, for that matter) kill your staff or customers through the provision of contaminated water. The regulations are there to stop that happening, and WRAS is the body that does the work to make sure all equipment – from showers to bottle filling stations – are safe to use.

WRAS tests components, materials, and entire products, inside and out. They’re looking for anything potentially harmful and then let manufacturers know what needs to be fixed. Once all areas needing attention have been dealt with, a unit will gain the WRAS stamp. It can be a long process, and an expensive one (our top supplier Elkay spent US $180,000 getting WRAS approval throughout their entire range). Not every manufacturer bothers. And it’s this part which needs to concern you.

While it’s easy to buy drinking fountains and the like, that haven’t been approved by WRAS, it’s not so easy to prove their suitability after they’ve been installed on your property. If you can’t show that your equipment complies with the regulations in every way, your water supplier or the Drinking Water Inspectorate may insist that the equipment is removed. In that event, you may be fined, you may be prosecuted, and you have no recourse to the manufacturer or installer because – hugely unfairly – as the owner of the installation, the responsibility lies with you.

Only WRAS approval will provide you with protection against such nasty surprises. And that’s why it’s so important to MIW that our largest suppliers are 100% WRAS approved.