Media Release 9 April 2020

Support for WA Government warning about DIY toilet hoses

The Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of Western Australia strongly endorses a WA Government warning that DIY installation of hygiene spray hoses for toilets and bidets poses extremely serious health risks as well as being illegal.

CEO Murray Thomas said, "We thank the Government for acting quickly and decisively to bring this matter to the public's attention. We encourage them to put all possible enforcement measures in place.”

“At this time when personal cleanliness is more important than ever, people must understand that DIY installation will endanger the health of their families and potentially other members of the community."

The warning, contained in a media statement from the Building and Energy Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety on Thursday 9 April, follows a sharp increase in sales of hygiene spray hoses - also known as douche sprays - in response to the coronavirus outbreak and shortages of toilet paper.

The health risks arise because toilet water and human waste will contaminate drinking water unless the spray hose is correctly installed and has an appropriate backflow prevention device. Once bacteria or viruses enter the pipes that carry a household's water, everyone who lives under that roof is at risk of serious illness or even death.

Consumers should only purchase hygiene spray hoses that comply with Australia's WaterMark Certification Scheme and must have them installed by licensed plumbers. Hygiene spray hoses that do not carry WaterMark Certification should never be purchased. They do not comply with Australian standards and it is illegal for licensed plumbers to install them.

Mr Thomas added, "It is very unwise to attempt your own plumbing work. In addition to DIY plumbing being illegal, the dollars you may save are nothing compared to the consequences of drinking or washing in water that's been contaminated with backflow from a toilet."

Any consumer who has installed a spray hose (douche spray) should immediately contact a licensed plumbing contractor and arrange an inspection to determine if  the product and the installation comply with plumbing regulations and standards. Consumers should also be aware that home insurance policies may not cover damage or other problems caused by non-compliant products or installations.