This year, our customers may notice some changes to our water products. Not in how they are manufactured, but in the accreditation that they will hold. This is because we will be transitioning some ranges over from WRAS to KIWA.
Water Industry Approval Schemes
In the past, WRAS has been thought of as the water industry approval scheme and the main way to demonstrate compliance of water products to water regulations. But it is actually Reg 4 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 that water products must comply with, not WRAS itself. WRAS is one of several testing bodies that can certify this. Others include KIWA and NSF.
Has WRAS changed?
WRAS was often the preferred choice by specifiers, plumbers, and consultants because water companies were involved in WRAS, specifically in the decision making of final approvals. This, however, is no longer the case. As a result, water companies do not request WRAS approval, but compliance with Reg 4.
What is Reg 4?
Reg 4 is Regulation 4 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) regulations 1999 (for England and Wales*) and it is the regulation that all products connected to the UK water supply must comply with. The purpose of these regulations is to safeguard the water supply and public health. And it is the responsibility of the installer, as well as the owner or occupier of a property, to make sure products are suitable. WRAS, NSF and KIWA are all testing bodies that can certify whether products comply with this legislation.
*For Scotland and Northern Ireland, the following apply: the Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014 and the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
KIWA and KUKreg4
Where Mechline has in the past used WRAS, we have now decided to demonstrate Regulation 4 compliance through KIWA with their KUKreg4 certification. To quote KIWA: “Achieving a KUKreg4 certification Mark demonstrates products have undergone a robust, independent evaluation carried out by a global TIC [Testing, Inspection and Certification] company”
When will Mechline products move from WRAS to KIWA?
The transition of products to KUKreg4 is underway. We already have products being tested by KIWA – which we will share as soon as approval is granted. Testing is rightly robust and rigorous, with hygiene and mechanical aspects assessed.
Will all Mechline products move from WRAS to KIWA?
Products within the ranges manufactured by Mechline will be moving from WRAS to KIWA. This includes AquaJet, AquaTechnix, BaSix and CaterTap ranges. Products within the ranges specially selected by Mechline, so Delabie and Performa, will remain with WRAS. Remember though, it’s just the testing bodies that are different – the regulations they are certified to meet stay the same.
What if I am specifying a product now that no longer has WRAS approval?
The products and materials are not changing so existing approvals will continue until testing is complete. If you have any questions regarding specific products, please get in touch. We can provide you a progress update and all the information you need for your project.
For all Mechline WRAS and KIWA queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE – June 23 – AquaTechnix has received Kiwa UK Regulation 4 certification, 1+. Read more here