How to have your say on the review of recycled water guidance

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is leading a whole-of-government review and update of Victoria’s recycled water guidance. The working group includes EPA, Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) and industry representatives.

We seek your views on the proposed new recycled water guideline. You can have your say at Engage Victoria. Submissions close 26 November 2020. All submissions will be considered and we expect to publish the new guideline by the end of 2020.

What the review of recycled water guidance aims to do and what it covers

The review aims to improve approval processes by streamlining them and making them clearer. The review isn’t a technical review of existing guidelines.

The review also aims to facilitate increased uptake of recycled water, where risks to the environment and human health are acceptable.

The following current EPA guidelines are being reviewed, updated and consolidated:

  • Publication 464.2 (2003): Guidelines for Environmental Management: use of reclaimed water, including Addendum to Class A Information in 464.2.
  • Publication 1015.1 (2005; 2015): Guidelines for Environmental Management: dual pipe water recycling schemes – health and environmental risk management, including Addendum to 1015.1.
  • Publication 887.1 (2006): Supply of reclaimed water for drought relief.
  • Publication IWRG632.1 (2017): Industrial water reuse.

Existing DHHS and Victorian Building Authority (VBA) guidelines will continue to be cross-referenced and drawn upon.

Schemes the review covers

The revised guidance will cover schemes beyond the threshold in the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017 of 5,000 L per day, including:

  • recycled water schemes, which reuse water derived from sewage
  • industrial wastewater effluent schemes. These reuse water produced from processes at industrial or commercial premises, including waterborne waste, but not sewage or prescribed industrial waste
  • recycled water and industrial wastewater effluent schemes that blend or ‘shandy’ other types of alternative water. For example, channel water or stormwater
  • sewer mining and third party access schemes. These extract and reuse greater than 5,000 L per day of wastewater, generally from a wastewater sewer network pipe.

Schemes the review doesn’t cover

The review doesn’t include schemes that aren’t ‘scheduled premises’. This means the following aren’t covered:

  • stormwater schemes
  • ‘closed loop’ schemes that have no discharge to the environment
  • onsite domestic systems, which process less than 5,000 L per day.

How to get further information about the review

Contact DELWP for further information about the review. Email daniel.rath@delwp.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 9637 9471.

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Reviewed 16 October 2020