Plumbing Products - WaterMark Certification Scheme Review

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The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has been undertaking a full review of the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

Material and product failures in plumbing systems can cause contamination of the water system and be a public health concern. The WaterMark Certification Scheme is a mandatory certification scheme for plumbing and drainage products to ensure that plumbing and drainage materials and products are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing installations.

The review considered the policy objectives, the Scheme Rules, the operation of the Scheme and associated reporting processes, the notes and liabilities of the participants as well as the overall costs and benefits to industry, government and the community. The outcomes from the Review will assist in the decision making process regarding the future of the Scheme.

NATA provided comment on aspects of the Scheme specifically related to testing, particularly around the usability of existing scopes of accreditation.

Subsequent to this, the ABCB has issued the following advice.

The draft Review of the WaterMark Certification Scheme, along with a range of other information relating to the current operation of the Scheme and analysis of proposed changes, was considered by the Australian Building Codes Board at its meeting on the 20 February. This followed the public release of a consultation draft of the Review document, which attracted 20 submissions, all of which provided important contributions that the Board had regard to in considering recommended actions.

Noting that the final decision in respect to the future of the Scheme will be that of the Building Ministers’ Forum, the Board concluded that some additional work was required, particularly in respect to economic benefits, in order to satisfy itself of the recommendations it will put to the Ministers, which is anticipated to occur later in the year.

Laboratory facilities accredited for testing plumbing products that are subject to the Watermark Scheme should monitor the outcomes of the review at NATA will be keeping in contact with the ABCB to ensure developments that impact on either NATA’s criteria for accreditation or the scope of application of the Scheme can be made known to members.