WaterMark Tapware

In the market for new tapware?

Have you been considering renovating your bathroom? Or finally fixing that leaking tap in the laundry? Or maybe you want to upgrade the mixer tap in the kitchen?

These days it seems like the opportunities are endless when it comes to choosing a new tap. With so many varieties and designs available, as well as the world of online shopping, your dream bathroom is set to become a reality!

While the look and style of a tap may be an important factor in what you choose, it’s important to know that it should not be the only purchasing decision you make when you are in the market for new plumbing products.

Picture this: You’ve finally got your new shiny bathroom finished, complete with a gleaming tap, and although you’ve spent more on it then you thought possible for a bathroom, it looks exactly how you had envisioned on your mood board all those years ago.

Or you spent the best part of the weekend visiting your local hardware store to stock up on supplies to fix that dripping tap. It kept you up all night, and even though it’s not up there on your list of ‘fun things to do’ on a Saturday, it’s done now and you can finally get some solid sleep.

Or you‘ve been meaning to call a plumber to fix the kitchen mixer tap, but instead, after a quick online search, you managed to fix it yourself and saved a lot of cash.

Now, picture this: When you turn on that tap you paid a small fortune for, it sounds like someone is banging down your door; the dripping tap you spent your weekend fixing is now endlessly leaking (again); and the kitchen mixer tap you installed yourself to save money, is now contaminating your family’s drinking water.

Unfortunately, despite their glossy features and impressive style, not all tapware products are up to the standard that they should be, and therefore may not be fit for purpose. Further, even if you had the right intentions and purchased from a recognised supplier, or from a reputable online store, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are purchasing reliable and safe products – it pays to do your research before purchasing.

In Australia, most plumbing and drainage products must be WaterMark certified and installed by a licensed plumber.


But what does this mean?

WaterMark is a mandatory national scheme for
plumbing and drainage products to ensure they are fit
for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in
plumbing and drainage installations. This means, that a
material or product has been tested and evaluated to
an approved product specification and certified by an
accredited organisation.

Over the past decade, it has become increasingly easy
for Australians to purchase plumbing products, like
taps, from local sources as well as international
manufacturers. However, this doesn’t always mean
that the product is WaterMark certified. Many plumbing
product suppliers, especially those overseas, may not
be aware of the need, or the requirements, for
WaterMark certification in Australia.

So, how can you tell if your product has been
WaterMark certified?

Easy! Just Look for the WaterMark! All WaterMark
certified products will have the WaterMark certification
trademark or logo somewhere on the product or its
packaging. Each certified product also has a licence
number which allows you to look up that product on
the WaterMark Product Database. By purchasing and
using a WaterMark certified product, you can be sure
that it has been evaluated to an appropriate product
specification and is therefore safe and fit for purpose.
It’s less likely to break or cause damage and end up
costing you more money later on.

So, next time you are thinking of upgrading the
bathroom, fixing the leaky tap or replacing the kitchen
mixer tap, make sure you spend a little time early on to
find the right product. This will save you a lot of
inconvenience and money down the track. And always
remember to Look for the WaterMark!

For more information visit: watermark.abcb.gov.au/look

Lead free requirements for certain plumbing products

Please see the following notice from the ABCB

Intent

This Notice is to provide advice to WaterMark Certification Scheme (WaterMark) stakeholders about the forthcoming limitation to the allowable content of lead in certain plumbing products.
This change will be given effect though an amendment to the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC) Volume Three – Plumbing Code of Australia, for adoption on 1 September 2025.

Advice

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) decided to limit the allowable lead content in plumbing products, which contain copper alloys and are intended for use in contact with drinking water, to a weighted average lead content of not more than 0.25%. Drinking water is defined in the NCC as “water intended primarily for human consumption but which has other domestic uses”.

The lead free requirements were set out in clause A5G4(2) of the NCC 2022, Volume Three Public Comment Draft, published by the ABCB Office on 10 May for public comment until 11 July 2021.

Attachment A contains the NCC 2022 Volume Three amendment agreed by the ABCB in November 2021, including revisions resulting from comment received.

In recognition of the impact of this change for industry, the ABCB agreed to a 3 year transition period, to commence upon the adoption of the amended NCC Volume Three on 1 September 2022, to enable the recertification of such products.

From 1 September 2025, clause A5G4(2) of the NCC Volume Three will take effect. Only products WaterMark certified as conforming to the lead free provisions, where required, will be authorised for use in plumbing installations.

Products that do not conform to the lead free provisions will no longer have valid certification and will not be authorised for use in contact with drinking water.

In preparation for this change, the WaterMark Administration will issue Notices of Direction to WaterMark stakeholders which will set out the certification transition arrangements including terminology, documentation, product evaluation, testing and marking requirements. A revised WaterMark Schedule of Products, indicating the products included in the scope of the lead free provisions, will be issued with the initial notice. A certification transition timeline will also be provided.

The ABCB Office will publish a detailed implementation plan to provide industry with as much notice as possible and to assist manufacturers, suppliers, certifiers and accredited testing laboratories with the transition.

The WaterMark Administration looks forward to working with stakeholders to implement this initiative developed to improve public health and safety in Australia.

Further Information

Should any WaterMark stakeholder require further clarification, they should contact the ABCB Office directly on 1300 134 631 or email watermark@abcb.gov.au.


Date of publication: 24 November 2021

https://certmark.org/downloads/Advisory_Notice_Lead_free_requirements.pdf

ATTACHMENT A

A5G4 Evidence of suitability – Volume Three (PCA) 2022
(2) Any product that contains copper alloy and is intended for use in contact with drinking water must have a weighted average lead content of not more than 0.25% verified in the form of either—
(a) a test report provided by an Accredited Testing Laboratory, in accordance with NSF/ANSI 372; or
(b) a WaterMark Licence issued in accordance with (3), if it includes compliance with NSF/ANSI 372.

Notes:
1. A5G4(2) does not take effect until 1 September 2025.
2. Note 1 does not prevent use of products certified in accordance with A5G4(2) prior to 1 September 2025.
Application:
Products subject to the requirements of A5G4(2) are specifically nominated in the WaterMark Schedule of Products.
Exemption:
1. Products that are used exclusively for non-drinking uses such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, or other uses where water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption are excluded from the requirements of A5G4(2).
2. Products excluded from the requirements of A5G4(2) are specifically nominated in the WaterMark Schedule of Products.
Explanatory information:
1. Some examples of products subject to A5G4(2) include:
(a) Copper alloy fittings.
(b) Stainless-steel braided hoses.
(c) Valves (such as valves used for isolation, backflow prevention, alteration of pressure and temperature).
(d) Taps and mixers.
(e) Water meters.
(f) Pumps (for use with cold and heated water services).
(g) Water heaters.
(h) Residential water filtration equipment.
(i) Water dispensers (such as boiling and cooling units, drinking fountains and bottle fillers).
(j) Fire sprinkler systems connected to the cold water service that are not isolated from fixtures and fittings intended to supply water for human consumption

2. Some examples of products excluded from the requirements of A5G4(2) include:
(a) Shower heads for bathing.
(b) Emergency showers, eye wash and/or face wash equipment.
(c) Pumps used for irrigation, fire-fighting or other non-drinking purposes.
(d) Fire-fighting water services and equipment including residential fire sprinklers.
(e) Appliances, including dishwashers and washing machines.
(f) Commercial boilers associated with heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
(g) Sanitary fixtures (such as toilets, cistern inlet valves, bidets and urinals).
(h) Non-drinking water services (such as recycled water systems).

3. Lead is currently permitted in small proportions in the raw materials used to manufacture some plumbing products. Whilst the allowable lead levels permitted in products ensures compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, the use of lead free products is encouraged to avoid the potential for adverse effects on human health.

AS 3718:2021 Water supply – Tap ware, adopted

See below notice from the ABCB

The WaterMark Administration has recently adopted a new version of the following Australian Standard: AS 3718:2021 Water supply – Tap ware.

The current 2005 version of this Standard is a listed WaterMark Specification and the ABCB wishes to inform you of the adoption of the 2021 version into the WaterMark Certification Scheme (Scheme) and subsequent listing on the WaterMark Schedule of Products and the WaterMark Database.

Clause 8.7.2 of the Manual for the WaterMark Certification Scheme states that when there has been a change in the applicable specification the Approved User has 12 months to renew certification of their products to comply with the amended applicable specification. The clause also states this period may be extended in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the ABCB.

In response to concerns raised by industry during public consultation the ABCB has extended the transition timeframe to comply with the requirements of AS 3718:2021 until 1 May 2024.
This extension will align with the existing transition arrangements for compliance to AS/NZS 4020:2018. AS 3718:2005 will remain on the WaterMark Database from the date of this correspondence until 1 May 2024.

Revised WMTS-051 adopted

See below notice from the ABCB

The WaterMark Administration wishes to advise that the following WaterMark Technical Specification has been approved for publication and adoption into the WaterMark Scheme:

Revised WMTS-051:2021 – Toilet douche seats
The objective of this revision was to align the product specification with the PCA in relation to backflow prevention requirements for toilet douche seats

The 2016 version of this Specification is listed in the WaterMark Product Database and will remain for 12 months from the date of this correspondence to provide sufficient time for products to be re-evaluated to the new 2021 version

WMTS-051:2021 has now been published on the ABCB Website, and will be included in the next revision of the Schedule of Products.

If you require any further clarification regarding the publication of this WMTS please do not hesitate to contact the WaterMark Administration.

New WMTS-530 & revised WMTS-040

See below notice from the ABCB

The WaterMark Administration wishes to advise that the following WaterMark Technical Specifications have been approved for publication and adoption into the WaterMark Scheme:

•             New WMTS-530:2020  – Water meters with integral shut off valve

                This Scope of this technical specification sets out the requirements for a inline water meter with an integral shut off valve for installation into an existing service valve. The meter may be installed in cold or hot water service pipelines.

A water meter that complies with this standard is intended for installation downstream of the network utility operators property water meter.

•             Revised WMTS-040:2021  – Waste pipe connection outlets and gratings, separate or integral

            The revision of this technical specification was made to include additional materials and to amend references to secondary specifications.

The 2018 version of this Specification is listed in the WaterMark Product Database and will remain for 12 months from the date of this correspondence to provide sufficient time for products to be re-evaluated to the new 2021 version.

Both WMTS-530:2020 and WMTS-040:2021 have been published on the ABCB Website, and listed in the WaterMark Product Database, and will be included in the next revision of the Schedule of Products. 

If you require any further clarification regarding the publication of this WMTS please do not hesitate to contact the WaterMark Administration.

WaterMark WMTS-101:2020 Public Consultation

See the following from the ABCB


REQUEST FOR COMMENT – SPECIFICATION DEVELOPMENT

Dear WMCABs’ and JAS-ANZ,

WMTS number: WMTS-101
Title: Appliances (low hazard rating)
Type of project: Amended Publication – Public Consultation
Comment closing date: October 28 2020 23:59
Please review the proposed amended WMTS and submit your comment via Consultation Hub.

Consultation Hub link https://consultation.abcb.gov.au/engagement/wmts-101-2020-public-consultation-draft 

Please ensure that you notify any of your Licence holders who may be impacted by this amended specification. Also note that responses will be published, where consent has been given, once the consultation period has closed. The ABCB Office will endeavour to review and publish responses within 10 business days. You will be able to view responses through the Consultation Hub.

WaterMark WMTS-522:2020 Public Consultation

See the following from the ABCB


REQUEST FOR COMMENT – SPECIFICATION DEVELOPMENT

Dear WMCABs’ and JAS-ANZ,

WMTS number: WMTS-522
Title: Fixture and floor wastes-supplementary protection devices
Type of project: Amended Publication – Public Consultation
Comment closing date: October 28 2020 23:59

Please review the proposed amended WMTS and submit your comment via Consultation Hub. Consultation Hub link –https://consultation.abcb.gov.au/engagement/wmts-522-2020-public-consultation

Please ensure that you notify any of your Licence holders who may be impacted by this amended specification. Also note that responses will be published, where consent has been given, once the consultation period has closed. The ABCB Office will endeavour to review and publish responses within 10 business days. You will be able to view responses through the Consultation Hub.

AS/NZS 1260 PVC DWV Fittings

PVC gravity sewer systems have been in use in Australia since the early 1970s and are the predominant option for collection sewers up to size DN 375. Water industry consensus is that PVC-U gravity systems have performed satisfactorily and that correctly installed PVC-U systems have better resistance to tree root penetration, whether rubber ring jointed (RRJ) or solvent weld jointed (SWJ).  However, mechanical failures of some DN 100 and DN 150 injection moulded fittings with both rubber ring joints (RRJ) and solvent weld joints (SWJ), used within sewer property service connection assemblies, have been commonly experienced by Water Agencies for many years due to ground movement, subsidence and settlement related issues.

The Australian Standard for PVC-U pipe and fittings for drainage waste and vent applications is AS/NZS 1260:2017. A minimum wall thickness of 3mm for DN100 fittings and 4mm for DN 150 fittings is specified for injection moulded fittings. Tests indicate that fittings manufactured to the minimum requirements of AS/NZS 1260 have stiffnesses ratings between SN16 and SN80, depending on the size and configuration of the fitting. Clearly the ability of fittings to withstand ground movement is not related to their stiffness rating alone.

In response to Water Agency concerns  a limited range of “heavy duty” injection moulded fittings with additional wall thickness and in some cases additional strengthening ribs have been introduced to the market. These heavy duty fittings remain compliant with AS/NZS 1260 as the Standard specifies a minimum wall thickness only, however there are currently no guidelines for manufacturers or users to determine the definition of a heavy duty fitting and no industry consistency for clear identification of these fittings.

WSAA has amended their Product Specification WS PS 230 to allow an option for Water Agencies to specify heavy duty fittings. Minimum wall thicknesses for heavy duty fittings have been nominated based on Water Agency experience over the last 18 months or so and the requirement for a minimum stiffness rating for fittings has been removed.   The minimum wall thicknesses for heavy duty fittings have been nominated as RRJ DN 100: 4mm, RRJ DN 150: 5mm, SWJ DN 100: 5mm, SWJ DN: 150 6mm. (The additional wall thickness for SWJ is justified by their reduced joint flexibility). A requirement to mark the fittings “heavy duty” is also included. WSA PS 230 is available at the following link:  https://www.wsaa.asn.au/shop/product/35716

WSA PS –230POLYVINYCHLORIDE, UNPLASTICISED(PVC-U) PIPES AND FITTINGS FOR NON-PRESSURE APPLICATIONS –SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE
WSA_PS_230_Iss_7.2_PVC_DWV_Pipes_and_Fittings.pdf

WMTS:040-2020 (Round 3) Public Consultation

See the following from the ABCB


Dear WMCABs’ and JAS-ANZ,

  • WMTS number: WMTS-040
  • Title: Waste pipe connection outlets and gratings, separate or integral
  • Type of project: Amended Publication – Round 3 Public Consultation
  • Comment closing date: August 05 2020 23:59
  • Reason for further consultation: In undertaking resolution of the previous public comments substantial changes were identified which required redrafting. The ABCB wishes to consult again on the proposed changes to WMTS-040 prior to final publication.

Please review the proposed amended WMTS and submit your comment via Consultation Hub.

Consultation Hub link https://consultation.abcb.gov.au/engagement/wmts-040-2020-round-3-public-consultation

Please ensure that you notify any of your Licence holders who may be impacted by this new specification. Also note that responses will be published, where consent has been given, once the consultation period has closed. The ABCB Office will endeavour to review and publish responses within 10 business days. You will be able to view responses through the Consultation Hub.