The Queensland Department of Infra Structure and Planning have lifted a statewide ban on the Caroma Profile 5 Toilet Suite, which features an Integrated Hand Basin.

The product was banned by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning in May 2009, two years after its initial launch, over an interpretation of the Plumbing and Drainage Act relating to the use of the product.

The system comprises of a hand basin that sits on top of a cistern. When the toilet is flushed, the water supply for the cistern is diverted to the spout of the hand basin for hand washing, which in turn directs and discharges used water into the cistern for future toilet flushing.

Caroma State Manager for Queensland, Mr Steve McDonald, says that the state enacted the legislation banning the suites in 2009 because the State's plumbing code did not permit the product’s usage of grey water, stating that it must be treated before it can be used for the purpose of flushing.

He said, “It is a rather unusual technicality, as the despite the ban in Queensland, the product was allowed around the rest of Australia and the rest of the world. We are extremely pleased that the ban has now been lifted and the legislature has reversed its decision, following the results from extensive testing that were provided to Queensland Health.

Installation of the device is permitted in classes 1a, 2 and 4 buildings. However, grey water (whether treated or not) is not considered safe for hand washing while rainwater is. Therefore, combination hand basins must be supplied by reticulated potable water or rainwater.

The product underwent a series of independent tests at the University of New South Wales for a nine month period that validated the technology was fit for purpose.

The testing confirmed that water used for hand washing in the cistern constitutes no increased health risk to the user compared to regular toilet suite and separate basin.