If you are installing new water supply pipes to serve your development, it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure that any contaminants in the ground are prevented from entering the water supply.
Developers should investigate whether the land where pipes are to be installed is affected by contamination. Many Local Authorities provide guidance to developers and homeowners about identifying land which is potentially affected by contamination for planning and building control purposes. It is also possible that you may wish to seek professional advice from an organisation/consultant that can provide specialist guidance on potentially contaminated sites.
In January 2011, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) published 'Guidance for the Selection of Water Supply Pipes to be used in Brownfield Sites' (Ref 10/WM/03/21; the ′UKWIR Guidance′). This document provides technical guidance to developers to ensure that water quality is safeguarded by identifying suitable pipe materials and components to be used below ground in contaminated or potentially contaminated sites. A copy of the guidance is available for purchase at: ′Guidance for the Selection of Water Supply Pipes to be used in Brownfield Sites′.
We have adopted the UKWIR Guidance in principle and in addition, our trade organisation, WaterUK and the major trade body for developers; the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has jointly published a best practice guide. The guide, which takes the form of a risk assessment, should be used in conjunction with the UKWIR Guidance and can be downloaded below.
A completed risk assessment should be provided to at the time of your request for new water mains or water service connections to ensure that the correct type of pipe is selected. We recommend that this assessment is carried out as early as possible in your development planning process.