05th Aug 2019


Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), warns that the drive for the most water efficient products could lead to health issues, without due regard to responsible water usage.

Yvonne said that health and efficiency was a balance, following recent news that a senior consultant at Legionella Control said that after a few days away, the first thing he does when getting home, is turn his shower on to run for 20 minutes and leave the room, shutting the door firmly behind him. 

Yvonne said,” With the summer season upon us, the threat of legionella from standing water in pipework is once again in the news.  Whilst the risk of legionella in homes is small there is a health issue to be aware of, especially with the increase in the number of elderly people living at home.Water efficiency remains vital as climate change threatens our water supply but we must work towards a position of equilibrium.

“Legionella bacteria is present in natural water sources as well as manmade water systems and thrives in damp conditions or when water is stagnant for long periods of time.  Reducing the rate of flow of water in systems or the amount of water that comes from a product can increase the risk, hence the need to balance the need to conserve water with health and safety.

“The Unified Water Label (UWL), is a voluntary scheme that provides a means for products to be registered, so that the water usage information is easily identifiable. The label includes information on the water flow, flush or volume, enabling a more informed choice to be made.

“If there was to be a mandatory label then it is possible that, as we have seen with the energy label, the focus would be on the lowest use, driving other products out of the market and diverting attention away from best practice in the home, in terms of water efficiency.

“The BMA is committed to educating the consumer and the industry, promoting the use water wisely message and supporting members that offer innovative products that carry the UWL, giving consumers the opportunity to select products that that will be efficient without any loss in performance or safety.” 

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