Plumbed-in drinking water filters, chillers, carbonators and dispensers are becoming commonplace throughout the hotel, restaurant, cafe and catering industry in Australia.
Many of the systems being installed may be putting the public's health and safety at risk as they have not been Australian Standards Certified as required by law.
So how do you know if a product is Australian Standards Certified?
WaterMark is a product quality certification mark provided by independent certifying authorities. It confirms the product complies with the Plumbing Code of Australia and the relevant Australian Standards, which relate to product quality including health and safety and warrant that it is fit to carry out its purpose.
WaterMark certification is mandatory for products to be legally installed in accordance with state and territory plumbing regulations.
Ron Holland from treated drinking water specialists Little Holland says: "We got our products WaterMark certified to ensure our legal compliance obligations are met plus customer expectations for supply of a proven quality product are supported."
Products required to be certified are listed in the Plumbing Code of Australia.
According to the Australian Building Codes Board: "In order to achieve Watermark Certification, the subject material or product must: be tested by a recognised testing laboratory; comply with an approved specification; be manufactured in accordance with an approved quality assurance program; and carry a warranty."
The standard WaterMark logo should also be accompanied by the WMKA licence number which is required to be marked on the product itself.
Businesses that have installed one of these drinking water filter chiller systems should be checking for the Watermark logo and the WMKA number as they may have a public health and safety issue which needs to be addressed.
It is also important to note that international certifications and markings mean little in Australia.
WaterMark certification is the only prerequisite for legal installation which can only be undertaken by a licensed plumber, who must issue a certificate of compliance.