Standards Australia have approved the development of a national standard that defines the criteria for material suitable for toilet flushing, along with appropriate labelling requirements.

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and the urban water industry in Australia and New Zealand have been concerned about the contribution of wet wipes products to pipe blockages and, in turn, disruption to customer services, extra costs and impacts on the environment.

“An Australian Standard would provide manufacturers with clear specifications to design products compatible with the sewerage network,” WSAA Executive Director, Adam Lovell, said.

WSAA and its members will start developing the standard this month and it is anticipated that the standard will take between 12 to 24 months to complete.

Separately, the International Water Sector Flushability Group (IWFSG) will publish their flushability specification on the 1 June 2018, outlining the preferred requirements for flushability as developed by water industry representatives from the US, Canada, Japan, Spain, Israel, New Zealand and Australia.

The documents will be in the form of three publically available specifications or PAS documents.

“This is an international issue for water utilities around the globe and while there is no standard at present, customers need clearer labelling to ensure these products do not contribute to blockages in urban wastewater systems,” Mr Lovell said. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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