The Australian Bureau of Standards has issued a draft standard DR AS/NZS 5328 flushable products for public comment. Within nine weeks, the wider public can provide feedback on which materials should be classified as “flushable”.
The draft standard defines the standards applicable to flushing toilet materials, as well as appropriate labeling requirements. This will be the first in the world and will be jointly developed by utilities and manufacturers.
After years of debate about what can be flushed into the toilet, the demand for standards has increased. This problem was amplified when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and people turned to alternatives to toilet paper.
The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has received reports that 20% to 60% of blockages will occur in 2020, and people will need to wash away materials such as paper towels and wet wipes.
Adam Lovell, Executive Director of WSAA, said: “The draft standard provides manufacturers with clear specifications and specifies methods for testing the suitability of products for flushing and compatibility with wastewater systems and the environment.
“It was developed by a technical committee that includes manufacturers, water companies, peak agencies, and consumer groups, and includes pass/fail standards. Importantly, the new draft standard will help customers determine which products can be used with clear The label is rinsed.
“We know that wet wipes and other items that should not be washed are a problem faced by global water companies. This disrupts customer service, brings additional costs to water companies and customers, and affects the environment through spills.”
For some time, WSAA and the urban water supply industry in Australia and New Zealand have been concerned about the impact of wet wipes on pipeline blockage.
David Hughes-Owen, general manager of TasWater service delivery, said that TasWater is pleased to publish a standard for public comment and hopes that it will bring clearer guidelines.
Mr. Hughes-Owen said: “Items such as wet wipes and paper towels will accumulate in our system during rinsing.”
“Flushing these items can also block household pipes and TasWater’s sewer system, and they are still a problem before we have to screen them out when they reach the sewage treatment plant.
“We hope that once the standard is finalized, it will help reduce flushing items that are not one of the three Ps: urine, poop or toilet paper.”
“This is good news, and we hope it will provide clear information to manufacturers of washable wipes. For some time, we have been advising the community that wet wipes do not break down in our sewer network and therefore cannot be washed,” Wei Said Mr. Els.
“This new standard will not only benefit our communities and the operation of the local sewage treatment system, but also benefit the people, the environment and the entire water industry throughout Australia.”
Roland Terry-Lloyd, head of standards development at the Australian Department of Standards Development, said: “In recent years, the composition of flushable products has been the focus of controversy in Australia, so the draft standard has great potential to become an important supplement to the wastewater industry.”
Urban Utilities spokesperson Michelle Cull said that the draft standard means Australia is one step closer to reducing the number of wet wipes and fat block clogging that affect the wastewater network.
“Every year we remove approximately 120 tons of wipes from our network—the equivalent of 34 hippos,” Ms. Carl said.
“The problem is that many wet wipes do not decompose like toilet paper after being rinsed, and can cause costly blockages in our sewer network and people’s private pipes.
“Most consumers want to do the right thing, but there is no clear Australian standard to define what should be marked as washable. They are kept in the dark.”
Stakeholders from consumer interest groups, water companies, local government organizations, suppliers, manufacturers, and technical experts have all participated in the development of the highly anticipated standards.
DR AS/NZS 5328 will enter a nine-week public comment period through Connect from August 30 to November 1, 2021.
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Post time: Sep-16-2021