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AS/NZS 5328:2022 clarifies what can be flushed down your loo

A new joint standard developed with Standards Australia will help dispel any confusion as to what you can flush down your loo.

Credit: MN Pollution Control Agency CC BY-NC 2.0.

Can it be flushed? Often, the advice is to focus on the “3 Ps” – poo, pee, and (toilet) paper – as other materials, particularly sanitary wipes, may result in a blocked sewer, overflow in your home or the local environment, or damaged pipes.

With newly published AS/NZS 5328:2022 – Flushable products, any ambiguity around products that are safe to flush can now be cleared up through manufacturers of toilet hygiene-related products using the standard and associated labelling. Packaging of products aligned to the standard should display the appropriate labelling in the coming months, providing assurance to consumers wanting to make the right choice when disposing of sanitary products.

Figure 4.1 from AS/NZS 5328:2022 – Flushable products. Example of labelling. © Standards New Zealand/Standards Australia 2022.

AS/NZS 5328:2022 – Flushable products provides a framework of test criteria for determining if a product is likely to have a negative impact on wastewater systems or the environment when flushed. The tests factor in the typical hydraulic, mechanical and environmental conditions generally found in wastewater systems.  

Required tests at each stage of the journey through the wastewater system have been identified, from customer property and wastewater transport systems and screens to treatment plants and the wider environment.

By adhering to the standard and only flushing products labelled ‘flushable’ and not flushing anything labelled ‘do not flush’, consumers and authorities can both save money in drainage unblocking.

The standard was developed by trans-Tasman technical committee WS-041 Service activities — water supply and wastewater systems, which included experts from consumer interest groups, water utilities, local government organisations, suppliers, manufacturers, and associations. Thanks go to New Zealand representatives from the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, New Zealand Plumbers Drainlayers and Gasfitters Association, and Water New Zealand.

AS/NZS 5328:2022 – Flushable products is available from our webshop.