About Class A recycled water
Class A recycled water is derived from wastewater. It is treated to an appropriate standard for high value and high exposure uses. This includes:
- purple pipe system for residential laundry, toilets and garden use
- irrigation of open spaces with unrestricted public access
- irrigation of edible crops for raw or unprocessed consumption
- other high exposure uses
Approval and endorsement of Class A recycled water
In Victoria, EPA approval is required for Class A recycled water schemes, under the Environment Protection Act 2017.
EPA Victoria is responsible to assess and approve Class A reuse schemes to:
- make sure that the water is fit for use
- the risks to human health and environment are controlled to acceptable levels.
All Class A recycled water schemes and the components such as Health and Environment Management Plan (HEMP)/Recycled Water Quality Management Plan (RWQMP) will now require EPA approval and endorsement. Applicants must show the system’s ability to produce Class A or fit-for-purpose quality recycled water consistently and meet water quality objectives. Some recycled water schemes may require endorsement from the Chief Veterinary Officer where there are risks to livestock.
Related EPA guidelines
These guidelines define the roles and responsibilities of suppliers, users and government.
Victorian guideline for water recycling (publication 1910.1)
Technical information for the Victorian guideline for water recycling (publication 1911.1)
Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (AGWR) provides further information on design and operation of recycled water schemes.
Recycled Water Quality Management Plans (RWQMP)
RWQMP is an important part of HEMP which details the management of health and environmental risk of recycled water schemes. RWQMP is used to define and assess a system’s capability to manage the quality of the recycled water. The Department of Health’s (DH) Guide for the completion of a recycled water quality management: for Class A water recycling schemes can help to develop and complete RWQMPs for EPA approval.
Validating treatment process
The DH’s Guidelines for validating treatment processes for pathogen reduction: supporting Class A recycled water schemes in Victoria describe evidence-based approach to validate the treatment process used in Class A schemes.
The validation requirements in the guidelines remain current and are to be used by proponents in preparing their RWQMP for submission to EPA for approval.
As described in the Victorian guideline for water recycling, the scheme manager should notify EPA when there is an incident related to a Class A recycled water scheme. The scheme manager may refer to the factsheet Class A recycled water – incident notification protocol (publication 1959) to inform EPA about the incident. The factsheet explains when and how the scheme manager needs to report incidents to EPA.
Reviewed 4 February 2022