Water Quality and Hygiene
Refill Station advice for Businesses and Retailers
Keeping our users and your customers hydrated and happy is really important. In the UK we are lucky to have some of the best quality tap water in the world, that goes through an extremely stringent testing process before it reaches our taps. Following these simple guidelines helps to make sure that refilling is safe and hygienic for everyone.
Your role as a Refill Station
By signing up as a Refill Station, you agree to provide wholesome and clean drinking water on request when someone asks for a Refill.
All owners and occupiers of business premises have a responsibility to ensure that their plumbing system complies legally with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, and this applies to Refill Stations too. Water companies may occasionally carry out inspections on business premises, including Refill Stations, to ensure water safety and hygiene in line with the Regulations.
This page has lots of helpful advice to help you keep things clean and safe for everyone!
Your tap or dispenser
The tap or dispenser that you identify for Refill use should be a clean, hygienic stand-alone cold water tap (not a mixer tap) and must not be located in the toilets or over an open drain.
All of your staff should be made aware that this is the tap designated for Refill use. And you might even want to label it, you can find downloadable posters on our resources page.
Your duty of care…
If you are installing new infrastructure for your Refill Station or altering or extending your plumbing system – for example, when installing a water dispenser or cooler unit – you have a legal duty to notify your local water company in advance and you should use an approved WaterSafe contractor for the installation to ensure it complies with the relevant regulations.
If a water company ‘enforcement’ or ‘do not drink’ notice is served on a premises signed up as a Refill Station, the water company will inform City to Sea and the premises will be removed from the Refill app until the water company is satisfied that all outstanding water quality and hygiene issues are resolved. If app users have concerns over hygiene they are able to report these and the relevant water company will investigate where appropriate.
For more information about water quality and hygiene in your business, check out this video from the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme: ‘How the plumbing regulations affect you’
Keeping your Refill Station clean
If the tap used for Refills hasn’t been used in a while, run the water for a short while first to clear any stale water from your plumbing system.
When providing Refills, the bottle should never touch the tap or jug. Keep a clear gap to avoid any potential for contamination.
When someone hands over a bottle to be refilled always ask them to remove the lid themselves, and never touch your hand to the neck of the bottle/glass.
As a Refill Station, if someone’s bottle smells bad or looks unclean, you don’t have to Refill it.