Water fittings to be regulated | Sunday Observer

Water fittings to be regulated

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has prepared regulatory measures for water fittings in Sri Lanka to create an enabling environment, to facilitate the participation of other regulatory agencies and stakeholders to ensure that only quality water fittings are manufactured in Sri Lanka, imported and available for purchase in the market.

The Commission in its report finds that there is considerable water waste due to the use of non-standardised fittings sold in the local market. It notes that the imported products are mostly from Asian countries are of low standard. A small portion of products that are imported originate from Europe. The European Union sets standards for fittings in the Continent. The report infers that most fittings in the market are dumped goods.

Twelve key institutions have been identified in the report - The Ministry of Development Strategy and International Trade, Department of Import and Export, Ministry of City Development and Water Supply, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Department of Trade and Investment Policy, Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, Sri Lanka Customs, Consumer Affairs Authority, Construction Industry Development Authority, and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

The price of water to the consumer is lower than the cost of production. The report notes that due to the significantly low cost of water there is little incentive for the consumer to stop leaks. Standards must be introduced so as to prevent the use of poor quality fittings and thereby continue with the current water tariff, As an initial step, the report suggests the regulation of water closets, stop valves, and draw off taps. A steering committee has been appointed by the Secretary of Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply to monitor and implement the work. The identification of standards and the preparation of HS-NSD (Harmonised System National Sub Headings) are in progress. HS Codes for valves are already included in Customs national imports tariff guide. The report sets out a plan that gradually implements standards so as to give time for the market to adjust. The timeline of the plan makes the standards fully operational with strong checks within five years. Testing facilities for established standards are to take place in the NWSDB water complex in Katugasthota. The standards suggested are international standards (BS EN and ISO).

The Committee will hold a public session from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. at the Cinema Lounge of the BMICH on Wednesday, March 27. The public are welcome to make oral submissions.