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Operational context


The Board’s activities are funded by an allocation from the overall Water UK budget, which is funded from WUK member companies’ annual membership subscriptions.


The Board meets four or five times/year to receive feedback from its Standards Representatives on a range of BSI committees. Some of those Representatives also report on CEN & ISO activities – either as BSI nominated UK experts, on Working Groups (WG) or, by right, as Convenors of those WGs on CEN or ISO Technical Committees.

Based on that feedback, representations to the Board from a range of sources, and members’ own familiarity with developments, trends, risks and opportunities facing the sector, the Board deploys its influence & budget to address the maintenance of existing standards and/or the development of new ones.


In preparing for its discussions the Board also interacts with a range of stakeholders periodically including: Water UK’s Board; WUK Executives & Policy Advisers; the Chairs of the WUK Networks; the British Standards Institution; relevant BSI committee Chairs; and sector bodies (e.g. Future Water Association; Pipeline Industries Guild; Sewer Rehabilitation Contact Group; UK Society for Trenchless Technologies).

European & National Standards

Under the Utilities Directive1, which came into force on 31 January 2006, where a European Standard (EN) covering the proposed product exists, this must be used in the purchasing and therefore, to meet market demand, in the manufacture of the product.

If an EN does not exist, national standards from EU member states should be sought. Development of national standards in the UK is delegated by central government to the National Standards Body (the British Standards Institution).

UK National Standards Post-Brexit

BSI describes the current position as follows:

The technical requirements of product regulation in Great Britain are currently the same as prior to the end of the transition period. UK government ensured that all EU regulation would be transferred identically into UK law with only minor changes made to address inoperabilities. Approximately 3,500 European standards, adopted as British Standards, continue to confer a ‘presumption of conformity’ to product regulation in the UK under the UKCA marking regime. These standards are designated for this purpose by UK government. Under the terms of the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland continues to adhere to much of the EU single market product regulation including harmonised European standards. Product regulation will evolve over time in both Great Britain and the EU and may diverge.2

Introducing new products / development or amendment of a new specification

When introducing a new product to the industry and/or considering the development or amendment of a new specification, it is important to recognise the requirements of both the Utilities Directive1 and the Construction Products Regulation3. See ‘General Information / Product Specifications and Levels of Attestation’ in CESWI 7 4 for further guidance (although CESWI 7’s references to the Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC) are outdated. This will presumably be addressed in the publication of CESWI 8.)


1 Utilities Directive on the Procurement Procedures of Entities Operating in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors (2004/17/EC)

2 Trade with the EU and beyond: the role of standards (BSI 2021)

3 Construction Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) 305/2011)

4 Civil Engineering Specification for the Water Industry, 7th Edition (WRc 2011)