Consultation on draft 2024 RPZ AIM

The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, byelaws in Scotland, apply to all premises which have, or will have, a mains water supply. The purpose of these legal requirements being to safeguard drinking water supplies by preventing contamination, waste, misuse, undue consumption and erroneous measurement.

On behalf of its subscribers (water undertakers who enforce the regulations and have the responsibility for approving AIMs) Water Regs UK is seeking views on a proposed revision of the approved installation method for RPZ valves (backflow prevention devices) or RPZ AIM for short.

The proposed changes will mean that all RPZ valve testers will be expected to undergo a periodical reassessment to demonstrate competence, RPZ testers may also need to invest in new testing equipment.

On-site testing for RPZ valves should only be carried out by somebody who is fully trained and has a recognised qualification in RPZ valve commissioning and compliance testing.

The proposed revisions to RPZ AIM have been suggested in response to concerns about the suitability and accuracy of some test methods and equipment. These changes will also ensure the UK is aligned with good practices adopted in countries with a longer history of RPZ valve use and testing, such as Australia and the USA.

The consultation will seek to ensure those involved in any way with ongoing testing of RPZ valves are clear about the expectations of water undertakers as well as their roles and responsibilities under any updated RPZ AIM. It will also seek to ensure that sufficient time has been considered for respondents to meet the new requirements.

The consultation will open on Thursday 1st February and will be open for responses until Wednesday, 1st May 2024.

Paul Millard, Technical Manager for Water Regs UK, says: "While the existing RPZ valve installation method will remain largely unchanged on the whole, there are some important updates being introduced that will improve overall standards and ensure accurate, evidence-based measurements and testing is undertaken going forward.
“We recognise that these revisions will mean that some organisations and individuals will need to invest in new equipment, while some will also need time to ensure competency and compliance before the new assessment cycle is introduced. This is why we’re keen to hear from all key individuals, groups and stakeholders so that we can better address those likely to be impacted and support them ahead of the changes.”

Views on the RPZ AIM updates are being sought from:

  • Manufacturers of RPZ valves and test equipment

  • Installers

  • RPZ testers

  • Approved Contractor Schemes

  • Training providers

  • Calibration services

The consultation can be accessed here from 1st February. For further information, contact

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