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I don't want to drink water from the basin in the toilets!

(68 Posts)
Bekindtoyourknees Fri 28-Mar-14 19:41:45

AIBU to ask if anyone knows the rules/regs regarding access to drinking water at work?

My employers have renovated our building and we have had no access to drinking water for 12 months, apart from the ladies' WC basin which is apparently fed from the mains water supply. There is no evidence that they will ever build a kitchen.

I know that many people throughout the world have no access to clean water and I shouldn't feel entitled, but getting a drink of water from the toilet makes me feel blaargh

HolidayCriminal Fri 28-Mar-14 19:46:24

I would have thought no legal obligation to supply you with anything (plenty of workplaces like that).

HippyPottyMouth Fri 28-Mar-14 19:47:15

It's not from the toilet, it's from the tap. Just the same as the water you drink at home. Unless it comes from a tank in the loft with a dead squirrel in it, bathroom water is just as drinkable as kitchen water.

Bekindtoyourknees Fri 28-Mar-14 19:48:15

The ladies' loo is one room (no cubicle) and the basin is 6" away from the toilet

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Fri 28-Mar-14 19:48:43

YABU and frankly you have some ishoos.

ContinentalKat Fri 28-Mar-14 19:49:10

By WC basin do you mean the toilet bowl?
Or do you mean a hand basin? What's wrong with that?
Also, are you not allowed to bring liquids into work?

HolidayCriminal Fri 28-Mar-14 19:49:49

bit harsh, imho!
I wouldn't like it from the toilet room tap either, BUT I don't think employer is obliged to do anything different for you.
Water bottle from home?

WhizzFucker Fri 28-Mar-14 19:52:23

YANBU - loads more germs in the toilet cubicles, on the taps, etc. If I'm desperate on a day out I'll refill y water bottle from the sink in toilets but I agree it is yuk.

No idea if your employer is obligated to provide access to water but you're certainly entitled to be pissed off at the current situation.

ilovesooty Fri 28-Mar-14 19:52:54

I don't see the problem with water from the basin in the toilet. Or having to being your own.

Oldraver Fri 28-Mar-14 19:54:30

I wouldn't want to take drinking water from a tap that is in the same room as a toilet.

So I would take my own to work.

ilovesooty Fri 28-Mar-14 19:54:39


Take in a large bottle of own brand supermarket water.

ilovesooty Fri 28-Mar-14 19:55:36

I suspect the toilet is less germ ridden than the kitchen in my work.

Bekindtoyourknees Fri 28-Mar-14 19:55:49

ContinentalKat a basin and a toilet bowl are two separate things

BrownSauceSandwich Fri 28-Mar-14 19:58:21

They most certainly do have to supply drinking water, but it's not absolutely clear that the tap in the loos isn't ok. You might say it isn't free from contamination because it's in the loos, they might say it is free from contamination because it's mains supply.

They also must provide certain facilities for meal breaks: somewhere to sit away from work stations; facilities to make hot food or hot drinks, which could be as simple as a kettle or a toaster.

Have a look at the HSE advice, and check that your workplace measures up. If not, the best person to make the case is a union H&S rep.

Afaik an employer is obliged to provide staff with clean drinking water, facilities for handwashing and drying and adequate toilets.

Whether all this in one is acceptable I don't know - I'd certainly prefer a separate kitchen area.

littleducks Fri 28-Mar-14 20:01:34

I wouldn't drink it!

Ate you sure that workplaces have to provide a kettle though? Is obviously really nice of they do but I didn't think it was an employee right

HolidayCriminal Fri 28-Mar-14 20:05:09

This implies there are rules about how drinking water is provided IF it is provided for that purpose. But not that it must be provided, iyswim.
items that must be provided are in a separate section.

Finola1step Fri 28-Mar-14 20:06:09

IIRC your employer does have a responsibility to provide safe and clean drinking water. It has to be from the main public water supply. If not, then bottled water. I think there might also be something about drinking water being easily accessible.

You may well have a point about the water from the taps in the toilet area. Reasonable accessibility might be an issue. If I was your employer, I would be ordering in the big bottles on a trial period but I would be up front and make it clear that there will be x amount of bottles per week/ month, any extra would need to be brought in from home etc.

Have a look at what the HSE have to say.

Bloodyteenagers Fri 28-Mar-14 20:09:59

They have to provide somewhere to water that is easily accessible.
They have to provide suitable seating areas for break times, it needs to be clean and not somewhere that food can be contaminated. Also with nearby washing facilities, and a means to heat food and hot water.They must also maintain good hygiene practices. So it could be argued that getting water from a sink within close proximity of a toilet fails good hygiene practices.

Bekindtoyourknees Fri 28-Mar-14 20:18:15

I just hate the thought that, when I turn on tap to get a drink of water the previous person has just wiped their arse and is using the same tap!

Osmiornica Fri 28-Mar-14 20:22:24

Yuk, I wouldn't be happy with that and wouldn't drink water from the toilet sink tap.

petalunicorn Fri 28-Mar-14 20:23:52

I've worked at places where we filled the kettle in the toilet, it never bothered me as the water was going to get boiled anyway. At these places they had bottled water to drink. I wouldn't want to drink the water straight from the toilet tap, I'd bring in water from home.

Grennie Fri 28-Mar-14 20:25:52

The advice about suitable areas for breaks away from desks, only applies to larger firms. It does depend on how many employees your company has.

Given that loads of people don't wash their hands after going to the toilet anyway, the tap in the basin will probably be as clean as one in a kitchen.

SilkStalkings Fri 28-Mar-14 20:27:26

Does your contract mention break facilities or tea/coffee being free or by worker kitty?

BertieBotts Fri 28-Mar-14 20:28:55

Don't you lot brush your teeth in your bathroom at home? confused

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