Regulator warning over bidet installation
BUILDING regulators have come together to try and prevent a health risk from starting in Australia's bathrooms.
Householders seeking a DIY solution to a toilet paper shortage through 'alternative toileting
devices' such as bidets and douches could be putting themselves and their family at risk.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has issued a public
Warning about this, and its partners on the national Building Regulators' Forum (BRF) are
also preparing to release warnings on this issue.
QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said that incorrectly installed devices could increase the
risk of contaminating water supplies with E. coli bacteria, and E. coli infections posed serious
risks to health and safety.
"If you're not a licensed plumber, it's illegal to do plumbing work, and if you do, you can't
guarantee that your family's health and your own health is protected," Mr Bassett said.
"E. coli is a serious health risk. Alternative toileting devices must have an appropriate
backflow prevention device in order for you to be protected against a contaminated drinking
Mr Bassett said that the only way to ensure backflow prevention devices were fitted correctly is if they were installed by someone with a QBCC licence.
"According to the current Queensland government health directives, the construction industry is an essential service, which means that as long as hygiene and social distancing rules are followed, there is no reason not to get professionals in to make sure bidets are fitted safely," he said.
"The last thing we need right now is to put unnecessary strain on our health systems."
In the past month, Google searches in Australia for the term 'bidets' have increased tenfold,
in the wake of articles promoting alternative toileting devices and providing advice on their installation.
As a result, Australian building regulators are urgently reminding home owners, building contractors and suppliers that these products must comply with Australian Standards and be installed by an appropriately licensed person.
Under Queensland's tough non-conforming building products law, every member of the construction industry supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors and installers, must ensure the product they manufacture, supply or install is compliant, or risk significant penalties.
Originally published as Regulator warning over bidet installation