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What are RPZ Valves and who needs to use them?

September 2020

Reduced  pressure zone (RPZ) valves are essential. They prevent the backflow of contaminated water into water systems.

Many industries have to deal with contaminated water and are required by law to ensure the water supply cannot be contaminated. An RPZ valve works by ensuring that the water entering the downstream system is at a lower pressure than the incoming supply.

Under the Water Industry Act 1991, property owners have a responsibility to ensure that every water system in their premises contains an adequate device to prevent the backflow of fluid from connections between potable and non-potable water supplies.

RPZ valves are recommended for use across industry sectors, examples include:

  • Food processing plants
  • Quarries, brickworks or any business with wheel washing machinery
  • Laundries
  • Car washes
  • Hotels
  • Leisure centres
  • Factories

RPZ valves need to be installed by competent and qualified plumbers, registered for RPZ work under WRAS (the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme).

Following installation, they must be tested, at least annually, and fully maintained to ensure that they perform correctly and continuously safeguard the water supply.

Incorrect installation or use can risk contamination and incur costs to put things right, and testing is vital to proper performance.

The installation or alteration of RPZ valves must be notified to the local water supplier and adhere to the Water Industry Approved Installation Method (AIM 08-01), which has recently been updated and can be found on the WRAS website. It is important that the installation is completed by a fully qualified contractor.

SAS Water Ltd have WRAS plumbers approved to fit and maintain RPZ valves. We employ a team of skilled, time-served plumbers.

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