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HEADING size 54 Arial. AS/NZS 4020 . TEXT size no small than 28 Arial. Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water . SUB-HEADING size 44 Arial. Peter Christopoulos Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC ). AWQC Australian Water Quality Centre.

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heading size 54 arial
HEADING size 54 Arial

AS/NZS 4020

  • TEXT size no small than 28 Arial

Testing of products for use in contact with drinking water

SUB-HEADING size 44 Arial

Peter Christopoulos

Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC)



Australian Water Quality


  • Business unit of the South Australian Water Corporation.
  • Water and Wastewater services, Chemical and Biological Testing.
  • NATA and ISO Accredited test facility for all tests conducted.
  • Research and Development Section.
  • Deliver Water Quality and Treatment Technology solutions.
what does as nzs 4020 mean
What does AS/NZS 4020 mean?
  • Developed from the British Standard BS6920 in 1991.
  • Suitability of products/materials in contact with drinking water.
  • AWQC involved in the development of the 2002 and 2005 editions.
  • Currently testing to the Fifth Edition – AS/NZS 4020:2005.
  • AS/NZS 4020 is a requirement in the Plumbing Code of Australia for materials and products in contact with drinking water
  • AS/NZS 4020 Compliance contributes to WaterMark Level 1 Certification.
  • Mandatory for Licensed Plumbers to use WaterMarked products.
requirements of as nzs 4020
Requirements of AS/NZS 4020
  • The Standard ensures products/materials do not leach compounds that can affect the health of consumers or the aesthetics of water:
    • The Taste or Appearance of Water.
    • Does not support the Growth of Microorganisms.
    • Do not release Cytotoxic or Mutagenic Compounds and Metals.
as nzs 4020 covers the following
Product Categories:

Composite – Non-metallic products or products with a combination of Metallic and Non-Metallic components (egTapware, Ball Valves).

Wholly Metallic – Metallic Pipes and Fittings (eg Copper and Stainless Steel Pipes).

Hot Water Systems – Water Heating devices such as Solar, Gas, Heat Pump combinations).

Example of Products Tested:

Epoxy Coatings.

Valves (Ball/Gate/Hydrant)


Domestic Tapware

Hot Water Systems

Sealing (Gaskets/O-Rings)

Pipes and Pipe Fittings

Water Tank Material

AS/NZS 4020 Covers the following:
not covered by as nzs 4020
Not covered by AS/NZS 4020
  • Lime
  • Coagulants
  • Activated Carbon (Filter Media)
  • Ion-Exchange Resins
  • Electric Kettles
  • Water Bottles
requirements of as nzs 40201
Composite Test

Taste Assessment

Appearance (Colour & Turbidity)

Microbial Growth

Cytotoxic Activity

Mutagenic Activity

Extraction of Metals

Wholly Metallic Tests

Taste Assessment

Appearance (Colour & Turbidity)

Cytotoxic Activity

Extraction of Metals

Requirements of AS/NZS 4020.
requirements of as nzs 40202
Requirements of AS/NZS 4020

Appendix K (HWS Testing)

  • Appearance (Colour & Turbidity)
  • Cytotoxic Activity
  • Mutagenic Activity
  • Extraction of Metals
understanding each appendix
Understanding each Appendix.

Taste of Water Extract

Trained group of panellists assess water extracts for discernable tastes.

Appearance of Water Extract

Leaching of compounds that effect visual aspect of water. Colour and Turbidity.

Growth of Aquatic Microorganisms

Ability or inability to provide nutrient source for Microorganism growth.

Cytotoxic Activity of Water Extract

To ensure poisonous (toxic) compounds are not leached.

Mutagenic Activity of Water Extract

No compounds are released that can cause genetic mutations.

Extraction of Metals

Metallic elements do not exceed the maximum allowable concentration.

how testing is determined
How Testing is Determined.
  • Manufacturer/Supplier will seek evaluation from their Watermark Conformity Assessment Body (WMCAB).
  • WMCAB to advise level of certification and test conditions for the Test Laboratory.
  • Test Laboratory to undertake testing and provide Test Report to Manufacturer/Supplier and WMCAB.
testing in the laboratory
Testing in the Laboratory.
  • Product is tested via immersion or ‘In-the-product’ exposure under conditions specified by WMCAB.
  • Water Sample Extracts are taken at set time intervals stipulated in the Standard allowing product time to demonstrate ability or inability to leach into Water.
  • Samples are rinsed and flushed between Start and Finish to simulate flow as in the field.
  • Water Sample Extracts are then analysed in the Laboratory for results.
hot water system under as nzs 4020
Installed On-Site at the AWQC.

Installed to Australian Plumbing Standards.

Installed by a Licensed Plumber.

Set up and Run per manufacturer’s specification.

Water Extracts taken at specified times per Standard.

HWS flushed to simulate flow rates and demand.

Hot Water System under AS/NZS 4020.
potential issues with test results
Composite Products:

Taste Assessment


Microbial Growth

Extraction of Metals

Products such as Brass Valves, Tapware, Elastomeric Compounds.

Hot Water Systems:

Appearance Test

Breakdown of enamels in tanks or corrosion in tanks and fittings.

Potential Issues with Test Results.
testing consideration
Testing Consideration.
  • 12 – 14 week duration for Composite Products/Materials.
  • 6 – 8 week duration for Wholly Metallic and Hot Water Systems.
  • Test Laboratory and WMCAB to determine sample selection, test conditions and troubleshooting.
  • Test Laboratory to provide AS/NZS 4020 Test Report at conclusion.
as nzs 4020 watermark
AS/NZS 4020 & WaterMark
  • WMCAB to provide Product Manufacturer/Supplier with Type Schedule.
  • Type Schedule to include AS/NZS 4020 and Performance Testing.
  • Compliance of Type Schedule to grant WaterMark.
  • Licensed Plumbers/Builders to use WaterMark Compliance components.
A number of other Standards reference AS/NZS 4020. Check with your WMCAB.

Challenge for manufacturers is to produce commercially viable products that do not leach harmful compounds into drinking water.

more information on as nzs 4020
More Information on AS/NZS 4020.
  • AWQC AS/NZS 4020 Test Laboratory

(08) 7424 1512

  • Email awqc@sawater.com.au
  • Web www.awqc.com.au
  • Via your WMCAB