In 2020, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) led a whole-of-government review and update of Victoria's recycled water guidance. The working group included EPA, Department of Health (DH) and industry representatives.

By streamlining them and making them clearer, the review aimed to improve approval processes for recycled water re-use. The review wasn’t a technical review of the existing guidelines.

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

The following EPA guidelines have been reviewed, updated and consolidated into two new publications:

  • Guidelines for Environmental Management: use of reclaimed water, which includes Addendum to Class A Information (publication 464) (2003)
  • Guidelines for Environmental Management: dual pipe water recycling schemes – health and environmental risk management, which includes Addendum to 1015.1 (publication 1015) (2005; 2015)
  • Supply of reclaimed water for drought relief (publication 887) (2006)
  • Industrial water reuse (publication IWRG632) (2017).

The two new guidelines are:

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

Schemes the guidance covers

The new guidance covers schemes beyond the threshold 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 schemes extract and reuse greater than 5,000 L per day of wastewater, generally from a wastewater sewer network pipe.

Schemes the guidance doesn’t cover

The guidance doesn’t cover 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.

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Reviewed 22 March 2021