What is WaterMark?

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 Plumbing Code of Australia requires certain plumbing and drainage materials and products to be certified and authorised for use in a plumbing or drainage installation. These materials and products are to be certified through the WaterMark Certification Scheme and listed on the WaterMark Product Database.

In order to achieve Watermark Certification, the subject material or product must:

  1. be tested by a recognised testing laboratory;

  2. comply with an approved specification (either a relevant existing standard or an approved WaterMark Technical Specification);

  3. be manufactured in accordance with an approved Quality Assurance Program; and

  4. carry a warranty.

Materials and products complying fully with the applicable requirements of the WaterMark Certification Scheme are then eligible to be certified by a WaterMark Conformity Assessment Body (WMCAB) and listed on the WaterMark Product Database.
Certified materials and products are identifiable by the WaterMark trademark, which must be displayed on the material or product upon the granting of a WaterMark Certificate of Conformity.

The WaterMark Certification Scheme provides a nationally consistent, risk based certification scheme for ensuring the quality of certain materials and products used in plumbing and drainage installations.

Materials and products which require certification

It is important to note that not all plumbing and drainage materials and products require WaterMark Certification. All materials and products proposed to be used in a plumbing and drainage system require a risk evaluation. Several materials and products have already been evaluated for compliance. A comprehensive listing — including product types and application, specifications and exemptions — of predetermined materials and product types is contained on the WaterMark Schedule of Specifications. The ABCB will keep the WaterMark Schedule of Specifications updated as new specifications are approved and old specifications removed. Likewise, the List of Exempt Products lists predetermined materials and products that are not required to be certified under the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

Materials or products not listed on the WaterMark Schedule of Specifications or List of Exempt Products which are proposed to be used in plumbing or drainage installations require risk evaluation in accordance with MP78-1999 Manual for the assessment of risks of plumbing products in order to determine a consequence score. Consequence scores less than 3 do not require certification, consequence scores of 3-4 require Level 2 certification and consequence scores greater than 4 require Level 1 certification.

One of the approved WMCABs can provide a review of the material and product to determine if WaterMark Certification is necessary.

Transfer of WaterMark from Standards Australia to the ABCB

Consistent with responsibility for the Plumbing Code of Australia transferring to the ABCB, State and Territory Ministers have been asked by the Commonwealth to agree to the ABCB assuming responsibility for the management and administration of the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

The previous administrator, Standards Australia, has divested itself of the Scheme and the ABCB Office has responsibilities for the management and administration of the WaterMark Certification Scheme.

The ABCB Office is in the process of rebranding the scheme technical standards following the transfer of the Scheme from Standards Australia to the ABCB. During the initial stages of the transfer the original Scheme technical standards will be referenced until such time that they are rebranded. The ABCB office will update key stakeholders of the scheme as these changes occur. If you wish to be included in the notifications please send an email request to watermark@abcb.gov.au

To obtain more details on the WaterMark Certification Scheme, call 1300 134 631 or e-mail watermark@abcb.gov.au


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