CESA and WRAS agree over combi-oven issue

Following the meeting between Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and CESA on 14 April regarding approval of combi-steamers, it has been agreed that there will be no change to the criteria governing submissions until further notice.

WRAS had planned to change its product approval scheme acceptance criteria from 1 April 2015 for steamers and combi-ovens that incorporate a facility using fresh water to cool the appliance’s waste water. This related to undue consumption of water under the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Byelaws.

The meeting was led by the CESA patron, Lord Trefgarne, with Keith Warren, director, and Bryan Whittaker, technical advisor of CESA, plus a representative group of three CESA manufacturers and an industry customer. WRAS was represented by chair Stephen Kay, MD Julie Spinks and Paul Millard, technical manager.

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The crux of the matter is the need to reduce the use of fresh water to cool wastewater. CESA members were able to demonstrate that the timing of the change had not taken into account the significant impact on manufacturers or allowed time for them to prepare for the change and suggest reasonable practical alternatives. In response, WRAS agreed to postpone the introduction of the acceptance criteria and actively work in partnership with CESA to find a solution.

CESA agreed to investigate the volume of water used by combi-ovens and steamers, especially compared to other cooking methods for similar volumes of food. Meanwhile the manufacturers will be devoting resources to the development of technologies that will further reduce the water consumption of their equipment.

WRAS will work with manufactures and water companies in line with the need to reduce water consumption, but recognised the significant timescales that manufacturers need for research and development to bring new products to market.

“This was an excellent meeting and the outcome is everything we had hoped for,” said Warren. “In accepting our submissions, WRAS made it clear that in future they will work more closely with CESA on this issue. Manufacturers are already committed to minimising energy and water consumption of the affected appliances – they will now focus resources on finding a solution to this aspect of the technology.”

“I was delighted with the outcome of the meeting,” said Spinks. “I believe that WRAS and CESA can work together to find a better solution and that manufactures can play their part in reducing the use of water in their products for the benefit of their customers.”

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