The impact of wastewater discharges to inland and marine water bodies is attracting greater interest, particularly given predictions for a drier climate in the future. Impacts can be exacerbated by drought conditions, when low flows reduce the dilution of discharges.
In other cases, the flow from some wastewater discharges can be an important contribution to waterway health, if they are of the right environmental quality and well managed.
These issues drive the need for a more detailed assessment of the impact of wastewater discharges.
EPA Victoria has developed Guidelines for risk assessment of wastewater discharges to waterways (publication 1287) that provide guidance to practitioners conducting wastewater discharge risk assessments.
Three pilot applications were conducted during the development of these guidelines. These are included in the document to provide practical examples of the implementation of the risk assessment process for wastewater discharges.