Water Regulations Delayed

EU complaint delays water regs by six months

The implementation of water-saving regulations has been delayed for six months after a last-minute EU intervention.

The decision to put back Part G of the Building Regulations to April 2010 was also caused by the communities department failing to finalise a scheme to sign off installations in time.

Part G, which covers sanitation, water efficiency and safety, was going to be implemented in October. The revised version places a limit on water use in new homes and requires baths to be fitted with thermostatic mixing valves to reduce the risk of scalding.

It also contains guidance on greywater harvesting systems and drinking water.

A draft was published on 15 May and the communities department said it would shortly notify the European commission.

However, the commission has complained about a paragraph in the draft intended to prevent hot water systems overheating.

Although this is an existing requirement, the wording has been changed and is now interpreted by the commission as referring to a product rather than a system. This would mean it must conform to European standards, and therefore falls under European jurisdiction.

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