New guidelines have been issued on how to use water facilities safety in marinas, boatyards, sailing centres, canals and other inland waterways.

For the first time, new Industry Best Practice has been issued on the safe operation of water facilities in marinas, boatyards, sailing centres, canals and other inland waterways.

The guidance has been created by both water suppliers and experts from the marine industry with the aim of having safe and practical operations in both the commercial and recreational sectors.

As well as providing guidance on the minimum level of backflow protection required in-line with effective control measures, it also offers advice on using water in a more environmentally friendly way.

The guidelines provide a consistent standard of operations, procedures and equipment for the provision and maintenance of domestic water facilities.

Recommendations include using only food grade drinking water hoses for the filling up of onboard cold water tanks, and that these hoses need to be drained and stored clear of the floor.

Marinas, boatyards and sailing centres are advised to only supply hoses for wash-down purposes. If hoses for fresh water are supplied directly by the marina, they must be signed for and the end user made aware of their correct use.

When rinsing boats, a handheld trigger gun with an auto-shut off head type is recommended. The hose and trigger gun must not be immersed in seawater when in use.

Double check valves should be used to prevent contamination of the water supply.

All pipework should be insulated to protect against sunlight and extreme temperatures, and standpipe and mains cold water supply pipes should be located away from any risk of permeation or ingress.

Water suppliers as well as industry experts from British Marine, the RYA, The Yacht Harbour Association, RNLI, and the Canal & River Trust have contributed towards the new guidelines.

The best practice document has been published by the the Industry Specialist Consulting Group which was formed to provide the recreational boating industry with practical guidance in the safe use and operation of coastal and inland water facilities.

It consists of representatives from water suppliers, together with industry experts from British Marine, the RYA, The Yacht Harbour Association, and The Canal & River Trust.

The group aims to ensure that current and future operations are safer, more efficient and give a higher and consistent safety standard across a wide range of marine operations.


The RYA Director of Affairs, Howard Pridding said he welcomed the introduction of this Industry Best Practice, ‘which is designed to raise operational standards in the supply of domestic water for recreational boating activity, ensuring consistent practice across the inland and coastal marine industry’.

‘For our affiliated sailing clubs and recognised training centres, this new guidance will offer help and guidance on the security surrounding the safety of water supplies and how that water is used. The document advises clubs on the best practice of regular activities such as the rinsing of dinghies and filling of water tanks. Key elements of the water safety guidance include the correct labelling of water points and allocating designated areas for boat maintenance which involves the use of water,’ he stated.

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Lesley Robinson, British Marine CEO, added: ‘We’re delighted to see the introduction of the IBP which will deliver a high level of consistency across the industry ensuring that all recreational marine activity, whether on a large or small scale, works to the same standards. Importantly, it applies to both inland and coastal operations establishing a better understanding and shared standards across the whole of Britain’s boating network.

‘The simple IBP guide makes compliance with the water regulations very clear, allowing our marinas, harbours and boatyards operating water facilities to work to the required standards, provide and share their own feedback on any problems or benefits of operations and ultimately, build new sites and update their facilities more easily.’

Anglian Water, Hyfran Duffyd, Jersey Water, Severn Trent Water and Southern Water all now accept the guidance.