WaterSafe, the UK register of approved plumbers, has published a joint advice leaflet with the HBF to share advice on good practice to avoid leaks in new builds, together with a guide for new homeowners to keep their properties watertight.
The collaboration is supporting water industry targets to reduce water leaks by 50% by 2050 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – as reducing leaks also saves on the energy needed to abstract, treat and supply water in the first place.
About a quarter of leaks are found on the service pipes which connect properties to the public water mains – so developers have an important role to play in building robust water networks to prevent these leaks.
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, said: “We’re very proud to be working with the HBF to support developers to prevent leaks and save water resources, which are coming under increasing pressure across much of the UK.
“By installing robust water connections and watertight plumbing, developers will also keep customers’ water bills down as all new properties are fitted with water meters so homeowners pay for the amount of water they use.”
The leaflet gives advice on the water industry code of practice for laying water pipes as well as using approved products and WaterSafe approved plumbers and groundworkers. This will help ensure plumbing complies with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations, designed to keep drinking water healthy and prevent waste.
The good news for developers is that some water companies may also provide incentives if an approved plumber or approved groundworker is used.
Water companies have pledged to do their bit by investing millions to reduce leakage on their networks by 16 per cent by 2025. By 2030 they plan to triple their rate of leakage reduction.
Ian Wilkinson, of HBF, said: “Saving water by preventing leaks is all part of making new housing sustainable, a key goal for our members. Not only is it the right thing to do to help protect water resources and benefit the environment, it’s also a real plus for customers as it could save them money on their water bills in the years ahead.
“Working in partnership with WaterSafe to promote the use of approved plumbers and products and good practice is a key step to achieving this aim.”
As well as advice for developers, a leaflet has also been created for the buyers of new homes. The information helps property owners spot and deal with any future leaks within the boundary of their home – from underground supply pipes to a leaky loo.
Leaflets for both developers and homeowners can be downloaded at watersafe.org.uk/developers, as well as advice leaflets on water efficiency.