April 2022

· 4 min read

Simple Steps for Understanding REG4 in the UK

Water is one of the most critical resources for our health and well-being, and we should be concerned about its quality.
Little girl examining her glass of water with looking glass - Steps for Understanding REG4 and WRAS in the UK | NSF

Water is one of the most critical resources for our health and well-being, and we should be concerned about its quality. Even after its treatment, drinking water may be contaminated by compounds migrating from materials that it touches.

So, it’s important to look for independent certification of plumbing products, water filters, and other devices that pump water into your home or office. But which certification?

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably heard of WRAS and REG4. All products and materials used in contact with your drinking water must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. WRAS and REG4 are independent certification programs that allow manufacturers of plumbing products and materials to meet the standards of the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It still sounds a bit complicated, right? That’s why I asked our NSF experts to share everything we need to know about WRAS and REG4. Bottom line: These regulations require mechanical products and nonmetallic materials that encounter drinking water to be tested and certified for their safety. When water enters your home through these regulated plumbing products, you know that testing and certification have been executed to protect your health:

  • Valves
  • Backflow-prevention devices
  • Faucets
  • Mixers
  • Shower heads
  • Pipes
  • Fittings
  • Tanks
  • Cisterns
  • Water meters
  • Rubbers, coatings, cement, resins and other sealants

Manufacturers understand the importance of having their products independently tested and certified for your health and safety.

For plumbers, builders and those in the construction industry, there are serious consequences for using noncompliant products, including increased risk of product failure and even potential infringement of consumer protection law. Plumbers and builders must trust their suppliers to provide certified products that adhere to legal regulations. Certified plumbing products can be recognized by a stamp of approval on their surface or packaging or by a listing in an online certification database.

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