This week, the Industry Specialist Consulting Group (ISCG) has released new Industry Best Practice (IBP) for the marine industry, both inland and coastal, 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 will contribute towards smarter use of water and have a more positive environmental benefit.

It does this by providing marine operators with a consistent standard of operations, procedures and equipment for the provision and maintenance of domestic water facilities. The intended outcome is to enable water undertakers (the regulatory enforcers) and end users to work together more effectively to safeguard the public drinking water network.

Industry first

The first of its kind for the industry, the ISCG 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 undertakers, 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.

RYA Director of Affairs, Howard Pridding, said: “We welcome 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.”

Working in partnership

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 contained within Industry Best Practice (IBP) Marine Water Facilities – Inland and Coastal (edition 1).