Cleaners Are Breaking The Law by Servicing Any Waterless Urinal

by | Aug 23, 2015 | Waterless Urinals

Servicing Requirements on Waterless Urinals Are Not a Cleaners Task

Very simply, if any person other than a licensed plumber undertakes service or maintenance of any waterless urinal, then they are breaking the law.

Every person involved in either directing, instructing or supervising the performance of servicing the urinal work by an unlicensed person is individually liable for a fine of up to $19437.00

The video above shows what it looks like to remove the insert from a ZeroFlush waterless urinal. This illustrates perfectly the inside of a ZeroFlush waterless urinal housing that uses the older style insert and odour barrier oil operating system, like when it requires servicing and the insert is removed.

Servicing a urinal is not pleasant work, even for a trained plumber, so imagine what it must feel like to an untrained cleaner. The Act of removing the insert is unequivocally breaking the law unless a licensed plumber undertakes it.

Cleaners Are Not Plumbers

Plumbers, unlike cleaners, are trained to undertake tasks such as clearing drains or working on toilets or urinals. These tasks require specialised training, diagnostic skills and an awareness of health and safety issues. Above all, plumbers are licensed to undertake the work by the government plumbing regulator, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, who are legally required to protect public health and safety through the plumbing and drainage licensing system.

A waterless urinal is an integral part of any building plumbing system and, therefore, must be installed, serviced and maintained in accordance with the:

  • manufacturers instructions
  • WaterMark Certification Scheme
  • the Plumbing Code of Australia
  • the national plumbing and drainage standard AS/NZS 3500.2:2015
  • all relevant statutory and local codes in the state or territory in which the urinal is installed

Servicing Any Urinal Requires High-Level Skills and Training

There is a common misconception that servicing a waterless urinal is part of the general cleaning requirements of a urinal.

All waterless urinals in Australia require servicing where a component part is replaced or disconnected from the plumbing or drainage system for maintenance or servicing. Performing this maintenance or servicing work can only be legally undertaken by a licensed plumber.

Whenever we investigate complaints that ZeroFlush waterless urinals are faulty or stink, we find in 99% of cases, defective servicing is the issue, not the urinal.

Further investigation invariably finds that the cleaners are illegally undertaking all of the servicing under the instruction of building owners or facility managers. The urinals in these buildings stink as they do not use the correct WaterMarked parts and reuse parts over and over again that are not designed to be reused.

ZeroFlush waterless urinal servicing is detailed in the routine maintenance instructions and must be undertaken by a licensed plumber in accordance with the requirements of the Plumbing & Drainage Act 2002, Plumbing & Drainage Regulations 2003 and Standard Plumbing & Drainage Regulation 2003.

All work undertaken on fixtures, fittings or pipes that are part of a plumbing and drainage system is regulated work. The servicing or maintenance requirements of a waterless urinal are classified as Minor Work by schedule 3 of Standard Plumbing & Drainage Regulation 2003 and are covered under the following clauses:

  • Clause 1: work necessary for replacing, maintaining, repairing or removing a fitting or fixture
  • Clause 2:  work necessary for repairing a broken or damaged pipework necessary for installing,
  • Clause 3: replacing, maintaining, repairing or removing an apparatus…..
  • Clause 6: work necessary for unblocking a pipe that is sanitary plumbing or sanitary drainage

The Plumbing & Drainage Act 2002 details in part 6A, General Offences the following:

Clause 119

Offences by persons not holding appropriate licence:

A person must not perform, direct the performance of, or supervise, work for which a licence is required unless the person holds a licence that entitles the person to perform the work.

Maximum penalty- 165 penalty units or $19437

Clause 120

Offence of directing or supervising unlicensed work

A licensed person for work must not direct someone else to perform the work, or supervise someone else in the performance of the work, if—
(a) under this Act, a licence is required to perform the work; and
(b) the other person is not a licensed person for the work.

Maximum penalty—165 penalty units or $19437

Cleaners who are required and frequently forced by their supervisors and employers to undertake plumbing tasks at the behest of building owners and managers are all breaking the following laws and regulations:

  • Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code
  • Plumbing and Drainage Act 2002
  • Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003
  • Standard Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2003

Understanding the Legalities and Best Practices in Servicing Waterless Urinals

Waterless urinals are an excellent choice for reducing water usage, but they require proper maintenance to function correctly. Cleaning staff and facility managers must be informed and adhere to best practices and regulations, ensuring a safe, hygienic restroom environment. Dispelling myths and providing clear information is crucial for compliance and maintaining the integrity of waterless urinal systems.

Aquatemp recommends that cleaners protect themselves from potential infections and fines and refuse to break the law. Always ensure that licensed plumbers undertake all servicing on any urinal, whether water flushing or waterless.