Consultation on the WC Suite Performance Specifications in England and Wales

Closed 3 Oct 2022

Opened 8 Aug 2022


In England and Wales the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 (‘the regulations’) regulate how water systems are designed, installed and operated. Regulator Specifications that provide detailed performance, verification and in some cases installation requirements, can also be approved.

Defra and Welsh Government are seeking your views on proposed amendments to the WC Suite Performance Specification, the Specification on the Prevention of Backflow and associated specifications commonly referred to as Test Code Sheets. The changes are to address incidents of backflow from WC cisterns whilst reflecting innovations in the design of WC suites.

We are also using this opportunity to gather evidence on faulty toilet valves which are causing a loss of water.

This consultation includes the following documents:

  • Invitation letter
  • Consultation document on WC Suite Performance Specifications
  • Annex A - Regulator Specifications and Test Code Sheets.
  • Annex B – Consultation questions.

Welsh language versions of the following documents are also available:

  • Consultation document - Ymgynghoriad ynghylch Manylebau Perfformiad Switiau Toiled  CYMRAEG
  • Annex B – Atodiad B Cwestiynau'r Ymgynghoriad CYMRAEG


Updated 22 August 2022: Update hyperlinks to Annex A within the Related Information panels. 

Why your views matter

A small number of current WC suite designs would need to change and undergo testing. This will have a cost to business but should prevent contamination of drinking water supplies and protect human health. This consultation will be of interest to:

  • businesses who manufacturer, assemble or sell WC suites or associated components,
  • businesses who test water fittings,
  • water companies as enforcers of the Regulations,
  • other organisations such as professional and membership organisations, consultants who have an interest in specifying, designing, maintaining water systems and plumbing fittings.

On faulty toilet valves, we want to see what might be done to enable manufacturers improve to meet consumers expectations.

What happens next

This consultation closed on 3 October. Consultation responses will be analysed. The government will then notify the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as a potential technical barrier to trade and the European Union, as required under the Northern Ireland Protocol because these changes are relevant to compliance in Northern Ireland.

The responses will inform the final Regulator Specifications and test code sheets, which will then be approved and published on The government will publish a summary of responses on 

The information from the call for evidence, in section 5, will be used separately to help formulate the steps needed to improve performance and durability of toilet valves.


  • Water/water Industry sector
  • House Building Industry
  • Property Management
  • Water suppliers
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Consultants


  • Water quality
  • Water Act