26 September 2023

Plumbers flush on World Toilet Day

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The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) marked the international occasion of World Toilet Day yesterday (19 November) to call on members of the community to invite a plumber into their ‘loo’.

“Victorians who are having trouble with their toilet should hire a professional plumber,” the State’s plumbing regulator warned, reminding homeowners and tenants of the dangers of trying to fix a toilet problem themselves.

Executive Director of Operations at the VBA, Lynda McAlary-Smith said that when Victorians need to fix their toilet or install a new one, they must use an appropriately registered and licensed plumber.

“DIY plumbing installations pose a significant health risk to the immediate household and adjoining properties,” Ms McAlary-Smith said.

“Sewage can contaminate the drinking water supply through backflow or back-siphonage, causing infections, diarrhoea or other health problems,” she said.

Ms McAlary-Smith said that when the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, many Victorians were incorrectly installing DIY bidets, douche sprays and handheld hoses, placing their own health and the health of the community at risk from contaminated drinking water.

“Bidets, douche sprays and handheld hoses can only be installed by a plumber registered or licensed in the class of Water Supply and must be installed with appropriate backflow protection measures to protect the drinking water supply,” she said.

“All home-made, self-installed and non-compliant sanitary toileting products are illegal, pose a health risk to the community and should be removed from bathrooms and toilets immediately.”

She said that if someone needed a new toilet they should hire a plumber to be sure the job will be done correctly, because there is a high risk of sewage contaminating the drinking water supply if an installation is non-compliant.

“All licensed or registered plumbers are issued with a photo ID card that lists the type of plumbing work they are eligible to do. All plumbers should carry this ID, and you can request to see it at any time,” Ms McAlary-Smith said

The theme for this year’s United Nations World Toilet Day was ‘sustainable sanitation and climate change’.

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