The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has revealed it is 'disappointed' following a Government announcement on WC regulations. Defra, the environment department, has said that a new regulator’s specification for WCs will be delayed until the summer of 2023. The BMA says the delay could prevent companies from getting product approvals before the new specification is implemented later in the year.
Earlier in 2022, Defra held an eight-week consultation on proposed amendments to the WC Suite Performance Specifications to prevent backflow. This followed years of work involving the BMA, water companies and regulators. The consultation closed on 3 October.
Proposals include amending the Specification on the Prevention of Backflow and important supplementary documents often referred to as ‘Test Code Sheets’. The changes prevent ‘blue water incidents’ when water backflows from WC cisterns into water supplies, simultaneously accommodating innovations in the design of modern WC suites.
Tom Reynolds, pictured, CEO of the BMA, said: “Incredibly, the BMA has been working with Defra and other stakeholders on this since my first week on the job at the association nearly four years ago now. So, it's disappointing there will be even more delay. This is a niche and technical issue, but it's also essential for bathroom manufacturers and for protecting water supplies – so we need that new specification in place.
“Nobody is to blame for this delay. We think it's actually because the UK now needs to report the proposed change to the World Trade Organisation. However, it shows a limited bandwidth in Whitehall to make necessary changes in specific and critical areas.”
The BMA has pledged to continue to work with the Government, its members and all relevant stakeholders until the new specification is in place.