VBA warns of DIY bidets and alternative toilet devices
The toilet paper shortage due to COVID-19 caught most Australians off-guard and as a result, many have turned to alternative cleaning devices and products like bidets, douche sprays and handheld hoses.
When installed incorrectly and not by a licensed plumbing professional, there can be serious health issues for the immediate household and adjoining properties as sewage can contaminate the drinking water supply through backflow or back-siphonage.
Any plumber administering this work without the appropriate registration and licensing risks being in breach of section 221D of the Building Act 1993 and subject to penalties.
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is urging consumers that bidets, douche sprays and handheld hoses can only be installed by a plumber registered or licensed in the class of Water Supply. A homemade or self-installed one of these should be removed immediately.
The VBA is also asking for major retailers to post notices on all of their displays which indicate that a plumbing professional is needed for the install.
To avoid contamination of a nearby water supply, the VBA recommends that:
- all water points installed adjacent to a water closet (toilet) but not directly connected to a sanitary fixture must be protected by a high-hazard backflow-prevention device;
- douche sprays or handheld hoses that can be placed over the rim of a toilet bowl cannot be used unless they are protected by a high-hazard backflow-prevention device; and
- all douche sprays or bidet seats must be WaterMark-certified and installed in accordance with plumbing regulations, technical standards and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.