History of Water Regs UK

Although Water Regs UK was only incorporated in 2008, water companies have been working together for over 100 years to help individuals and organisations comply with byelaws and water fittings regulations. This page contains a timeline of key events in the history of Water Regs UK.


1903 - Joint Committee on Water Regulations
In 1903 the Worshipful Company of Plumbers joined with the Institute of Water Engineers to form the Joint Committee on Water Regulations. This was a committee made up of water industry representatives. 

1904  - JCSWR Scheme
The Joint Committee on Water Regulations, produced a licensing scheme for basic water fittings made to its standards and the so-called JCSWR Scheme and its registered trademark came into being.

1919 - Formation of the British Waterworks Association 
1919 saw the formation of the British Waterworks association, which later became responsible for drafting Model Byelaws for all water supply undertakings.  The joint committee on water regulations became part of the British Waterworks Association.

1950 - British Water Works Association starts testing water fittings 
The British Water Works Association (BWA), following a lead given by the Metropolitan Water Board, commenced mechanical testing of fittings against the requirements of the Model Byelaws. The Ministry of Housing and Local Government now prepared the Model Byelaws.

1950s - BSI takes responsibility for standards for taps and valves 
BSI takes responsibility for taps and valves and the JCSWR joint, water industry and BSI scheme was withdrawn.

1973 - The United Kingdom Water Fittings Byelaws Scheme is administered by the National Water Council 
The National Water Council was formed under the Water Act 1973 and took over responsibility for the United Kingdom Water Fittings Byelaws Scheme. This included testing and providing byelaws advice until it was abolished in 1983

1975 - Material of components of water fittings first listed by UK WFBS 
First publication of a list of non-metallic materials suitable for use in contact with drinking water. The standards were originally water industry requirements before being incorporated into BS6920 in 1998.

3 October 1983 - Water Byelaws Advisory Service (WBAS) is administered by WRc
WRc took over the renamed Water Byelaws Advisory Service and with it, the testing of fittings. The scheme was run from Slough.

1 August  1986 - Water Supply Byelaws Guide published by WRc Publications; 1st edition (1/8/1986)

31 May 1988 - BS6920 published
A standard for the suitability of non-metallic products for use in contact with water intended for human consumption with regard to their effect on the quality of the water.  This replaced water industry requirements.

1991 - Water Byelaws Scheme (WBS)
In 1991 the name of the consultancy was changed to the "Water Byelaws Scheme" (WBS).

1999 - Water Regulations Advisory Scheme
The scheme is renamed to Water Regulations Advisory Scheme and continues to be administered by WRc.

January 2000 - New nation register for approved contractors
Start of conversion of existing water industry contractor schemes to new nation register for approved contractors. Approved Contractor schemes are either run by WIAPS or by water company's following a  “WIAPS model”. Existing schemes were run by Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent (Watermark), Anglian Water (APLUS) and Thames Water (TAPS).  An alternative scheme was run by CIPHE once they were authorised by the Secretary of State

March 2000 - WIAPS open for new members
New recruits are invited to join the new national scheme. This allows cross border recognition

February 1989 - Water Supply Byelaws Guide published by WRc Publications; 2nd Revised edition (Feb 1989)

December 2000 - Water Regulations Guide (first edition) is published by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

January 2001 - APHC are authorised by the Secretary of State to Approve Contractors

June 2001 - Water Regulations Guide (second edition) is published by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme

19 October 2001 - WRAS logo registered

2006 - WRAS Online Materials and Fittings directory
WRAS publishes the Water Fittings and Materials Directory on line for the first time.

4 August 2008 - WRAS Ltd incorporated
WRAS becomes a subscription company limited by guarantee. It had 23 founding subscribers who were UK water companies.

1 April 2009 - WRAS Ltd begins trading
WRAS starts trading and employees working on WRAS activities transfer from WRc to WRAS

2010 - Yorkshire water closes its Approved Contractors Scheme and joins WIAPS

30 April 2010 - WRAS Approved Product logo and WRAS materials logo registered

12 November 2010 - WIAPS Logos registered

20 August 2014 - WRAS moves in to its new premises

29 September 2014 - New WRAS and WIAPS logos launched

1 April 2021 - Water Regs UK

Company name changed to Water Regs UK Limited and new subsidary formed called the Water Regulations Approvals Scheme Limited

1 April 2023 - Thames Water joins WIAPS

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