Water regulations for flushing

The Water Supply Regulations 1999 are in operation and attempt to reduce the amount of water volume flushed away.

The regulations also brought about the reintroduction of the dual flush and allowed the use of overflow, flush and pressure valves for commercial installations.

This has had a huge effect on the manufacturer and distribution of British sanitary products. Every toilet suite installed must comply with the new regulations.

The main changes to regulations include:

  • The maximum amount of flush volume in new installations is limited to six litres. This is down from the 7.5 litres previously allowed.
  • Dual flush is allowed. This would be six litres for a full flush and four litres for a short flush. Syphons and valves can be used to control the amount of water in the pan.
  • Commercial properties can use pressure valves where a minimum of 1.2 litres per second in allowed. The system must have backflow prevention measures in place though.
  • Syphons and valves installed must pass regulator tests to ensure they are compliant with the regulations.

Internal overflow

Before 2000, overflow warning pipes had to be fitted to toilet cisterns. This meant that if there was a valve failure, water would run to the outside of the building. So the home owner would soon spot a problem.

However, the industry regulators have approved ball valves to replace external overflows, and consider internal warning piping to be just as effective.

So if there’s a fault, water will run through the flushing system and into the toilet pan, alerting the occupant to a problem.

By having an internal warning system, installation is much easier. There’s also no need for a hole in the wall for the pipe to vent.


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