Drinking water report shows impact of poor plumbing on the hospitality sector

The report reveals 46% of water quality tests in public buildings failed safety checks

Additionally 31 out of 68 tests taken failed to meet the standard stem from plumbing issues in businesses (Photo by Nithin PA via Pexels)

The hospitality industry is being urged to only use approved contractors for work on internal plumbing, after the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s annual report revealed 46% of water quality tests in public buildings failed stringent safety checks.

Drinking water supplies in England and Wales are high quality, with 99.97% of water supplied to homes and businesses passing crucial water quality tests, according to the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s annual report.

However the report revealed 31 out of 68 tests taken failed to meet the standard stem from plumbing issues in businesses. This included the presence of bacteria and chemicals and problems with the taste and odour of the drinking water.

Poor plumbing practices and unsuitable fittings can not only cause illness among staff and customers alike, but cost time and money to put right. One such hotel in Northumbria had to close for eight weeks to rectify their poor plumbing, after a routine water quality test by their local water company uncovered E. Coli. Several breaches of water fittings regulations were found to be the cause, which the hotel rectified over an eight-week closure period.

To help businesses avoid the potential harm and financial burden that plumbing problems can cause, WaterSafe is urging homeowners and property managers to always employ someone who is approved to work on their plumbing system to help keep their drinking water high-quality.

Julie Spinks, director, WaterSafe, said: “Using a WaterSafe approved contractor for any work on your water supply pipe or internal plumbing is one of the easiest ways to help prevent illness and the additional cost of rectifying any problems.

“Simple plumbing tasks can make a big difference, such as fitting appropriate backflow prevention devices on pipework to prevent water from toilets, white goods and garden hoses from mixing with your clean drinking water.”

Marcus Rink, chief executive, Drinking Water Inspectorate, said: “It’s important that we are not complacent as our annual report details almost half of the samples which failed to meet the required standard were due to problems with internal plumbing.

“We’d caution people to avoid unqualified installers who may inadvertently cause water supplies to become contaminated, and to instead choose a suitably qualified, approved, plumber.”

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